Cynics beware: A Walk in the Clouds is a voluptuously photographed exercise in romanticism that may seduce viewers away from their hard-bitten outlooks. Director Alfonso Arau (Like Water for Chocolate) gives the movie a soft-focus sweetness that might seem marshmallow if not for the work of Giancarlo Giannini and the late Anthony Quinn. Playing Alberto, the stern Mexican father of the lovely Victoria Aitana Sanchez-Gijon, Giannini spits the fire and resentment of a wounded dragon outraged at the sudden, suspicious marriage of his daughter to American ex-serviceman Paul Sutton Keanu Reeves. Giannini and screenwriters Robert Mark Kamen and Mark Miller infuse Alberto with the deep emotional pain of someone who loves his family's traditions and hates their collapse. Romance and romanticism are never easy, so Alberto's pain grounds the emotional reality of the movie, as does the innocence displayed by Reeves and Sanchez-Gijon. The tug of war between Alberto and the other principals gives Quinn a chance to shine; he captures just the right tone of whimsy and wisdom as the family patriarch who knows it will work out well in the end.