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"Cloud Atlas," based on the 2004 novel by David Mitchell, tells six nested stories spanning several hundred years and three continents. Cast members including Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Jim Broadbent play multiple interconnected roles across the centuries.
1. In 1849 in the remote South Pacific, where the slave trade is flourishing, Dr. Goose (Hanks) administers medicine of dubious value to naive traveler Adam Ewing (Jim Sturgess). Ewing's peculiar connection to a slave creates trouble aboard their ship.
2. In 1936 Scotland, Robert Frobisher (Ben Whishaw), an impoverished young musician, reads Ewing's journal while working for a composer.
PHOTOS: Scenes from 'Cloud Atlas'
3. Luisa Rey (Berry), a journalist investigating a nuclear reactor and dogged by henchman Bill Smoke (Hugo Weaving), hears Frobisher's music in 1973 in California.
4. Sonmi-451 (Doona Bae) toils thanklessly at Papa Song's diner in 2144 Korea until one of her fellow clones steps out of line. Inspired by a TV movie on the life of 21st century publisher Timothy Cavendish, Sonmi begins to contemplate freedom.
5. Cavendish (Broadbent), a vanity publisher, is trying to escape from a nursing home in 2012 Scotland and is considering printing Luisa Rey's story.
6. Meronym (Berry) and Zachry (Hanks) team in 24th century Hawaii, where civilization is primitive, cannibals roam and Sonmi is worshiped.
Full story: A new road map to 'Cloud Atlas' for adaptation