Drifting Clouds (1996)

Drifting Clouds (1996)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Drifting Clouds Photos

Movie Info

A married couple struggles with the repercussions of unexpected unemployment in this wry comedy drama from Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismaki. Ilona, the wife, works as restaurant hostess and her husband Lauri drives a tram. Though the couple has recently lost a child, they both seem at peace and happy. One night Ilona comes home and finds that Lauri has purchased a beautiful television on credit. Shortly thereafter disaster strikes when Ilona's workplace closes and Lauri gets caught in a maelstrom of downsizing. Neither is able to find suitable work right away and as time crawls by, they become humiliated and testy with each other. Eventually Ilona gets a job cooking and bartending in a nameless sleazy dive while her husband, after having to sell their television and car, turns to booze. Things look bad for the marriage when suddenly Ilona decides to open a restaurant. With the backing of her former boss and using her coworkers, she and Lauri open the successful Worker's Rest café and find renewed hope.
Art House & International , Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Kati Outinen
as Ilona Koponen
Outi Mäenpää
as Lauri's sister
Vesa Mäkelä
as tax official
Elina Salo
as Mrs. Sjoholm
Esko Nikkari
as restaurant manager
Matti Onnismaa
as Forrstrom
Matti Pellonpää
as Child on photography
Markku Peltola
as Lajunen
Matti Oekkboää
as child in the photo
as Pietari, the dog
Shelley Fisher
as pianist
Markus Allan
as orchestra member
Pauli Granfelt
as orchestra member
Kari Lindquist
as orchestra member
Pentti Mutikainen
as orchestra member
Tommi Parkkonen
as orchestra member
Taisto Wesslin
as orchestra member
Tuire Liiti
as waistress
Elli Lindstedt
as old couple
Vilhelm Linstedt
as old couple
Tuire Tuomisto
as kitchen maid
Pentti Auer
as buyer of Dubronvnik
Lisak Lusua
as buyer of Dubrovnik
Solmu Mäkelä
as foreman
Tarja Laiho
as labour officical
Sulevi Peltola
as man at Nelia
Tero Jartti
as tax official
Kaija Pakarinen
as woman in dressing gown
Ves Häklo
as ugly man
Antti Reini
as ugly man
Yrj Järvinen
as nab at Iktnoua
Ona Kamy
as cleaning woman
Eero Försti
as repossession man
Kari Nenonen
as repossession men
Klaus Heydemann
as real-estate broker
Mato Valtonen
as car dealer
Aarre Kaéen
as bank manager
Rose-Marie Precht
as gairdresser
Clas-Ove Bruun
as carpenter
Silu Seppälä
as carpenter
Jorma Pulla
as gilder
Atte Blom
as first customers
Peter von Bagh
as first customers
Gröbqvustm Hygi
as garbage men
Kari Järvinen
as garbage men
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Drifting Clouds

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (5)

In addition to achieving a paradoxical balance of mirth and melancholy, Drifting Clouds is a dark, mostly interior movie with a color scheme as big as all outdoors.

May 23, 2003
Washington Post
Top Critic

True to his temperament, Kaurismaki has made another funny-sad movie about the tenuousness of life, in all its ambiguity and nonsensical symmetry.

Full Review… | May 23, 2003
Washington Post
Top Critic

Kaurismaki has enormous love for these characters. He embraces their comic pathos, and rejoices that they do not surrender.

Full Review… | November 13, 2001
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

What can be said about Drifting Clouds can be said about hangdog Finnish humor in general: it's making the best of a depressing situation.

November 13, 2001
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Nokia, Finlandia Vodka, and Aki Kaurismäki. Three exceptional Finnish exports of particular interest. ?Drifting Clouds blossoms.

Full Review… | May 30, 2003
Nitrate Online

The film builds to a happier mood than many of the director's previous works; offbeat, droll twists and details add to its appeal.

Full Review… | June 5, 2002
Boxoffice Magazine

Audience Reviews for Drifting Clouds

Finnish film by Aki Kaurismäki, and the first in a loose trilogy with THE MAN WITHOUT A PAST and LIGHTS IN THE DUSK. Filmed in a strangely timeless manner and funny in a very underplayed way, this is about a couple trying to make the best of a bad job when they both lose theirs. Glum.

Lesley N
Lesley N

Super Reviewer


Aki Kaurismaki is one strange cookie, but then again isn't that exactly what makes him stick out as a director? Okay, I've only seen three of his films so far, but I am starting to see a pattern of strangeness :)

Hans J. Eiðisgarð
Hans J. Eiðisgarð

I wasn't bowled over, but I liked it. You really want this couple to succeed, and the film never lets you know ahead of time how things are going to play out. Kati Outinen has a terrific face, which seems capable of conveying anything without ever changing from its blank expression.

Martin Teller
Martin Teller

Drifting Clouds Quotes

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