One of the best movies this year may be a new Disney film that never landed in theaters.
“Clouds” (PG-13), now on Disney Plus, follows the inspirational story of Zach Sobiech, a joy-filled high schooler who is diagnosed with bone cancer and told by his doctor he likely has only a few months to live.
Talent from God
But instead of wasting his final days, Sobiech chooses to separate the important stuff from the trivial.
Realizing he has a talent from God, he begins writing music about his situation, about his joy in life, about hope and optimism. Eventually one of the songs (also called “Clouds”) becomes a hit.
“I hope my story helps everyone to realize that you don’t have to find out you’re dying to start living,” he says.
The movie is based on a true story about the real Zach Sobiech, a Minnesota teenager who died in 2013 but who wrote music in his final months. His best-known song (“Clouds”) has been streamed or downloaded 200 million times.
In the film, his mother tells him, “Maybe this is some kind of weird chance for you to forget about all the superficial stuff that people waste their time on.”
Sobiech is faced with multiple gut-wrenching questions, knowing death is just around the corner: Does he pursue a romance with his girlfriend? Does he write a college essay, as all his classmates are doing? Does he go to his own graduation party if he’s too weak?
“Clouds” has faith elements, though it’s not a traditional faith-based film. Asked what he wants to be read at his funeral, Sobiech answers: the Parable of the Talents.
“That one makes sense to me,” he says.
(In real life, Sobiech’s mother said she prayed, “Okay, Lord, you can have him. But if he must die, I want it to be for something big. I want someone’s life to be changed forever.”)
“Clouds” is an entertaining film that’s filled with uplifting music, a gripping storyline and a sweet romance. Mostly though, it’s inspiring. It encourages us to contemplate eternity and to concentrate on what truly matters. It urges us to live life with joy and to cast aside worthless distractions. It tells us to live each day as if it might be our last.
The film is rated PG-13 for “brief strong language,” yet I didn’t catch anything. (I spoke with three friends who watched it and also didn’t hear any strong language.) At most, it has a couple of OMGs (which sound a lot like “gosh”).
Additionally, there are at least two scenes parents may want to skip: at the beginning where Zach sings a made-up song about his body (his mom hates the tune) and a scene where he and his girlfriend kiss at her house (Zach runs out before it goes too far). It should have been rated PG. For those who want it, ClearPlay offers a filter.
“Clouds” stars Fin Argus as Sobiech; Sabrina Carpenter as his best friend, Sammy; and Madison Iseman as his girlfriend, Amy.
It may be the best film of the year.
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