Friday, November 17, 2017

Nicole Garcia's old-fashioned love-story-plus-twist, FROM THE LAND OF THE MOON, on DVD

Some of us will watch Marion Cotillard in just about anything, but don't worry: You won't have to lower  your standards much to find one of her latest endeavors, FROM THE LAND OF THE MOON, worth your time.

This old-fashioned-with-a-twist love story, set a half-century back, is well-acted, -written and -directed, even if it does ask you to accept one whopper of an imagining by it's protagonist. But then, l'amour fou can do that, don't you think?

As directed and co-written by French actor and filmmaker Nicole Garcia (shown at left), the movie is beautiful to view and rather fun to consider, both as it is moving along and post-viewing, too.

Adapted from the novel by Milena Agus, the film takes place in France, Switzerland and Spain and stars Ms Cotillard, Louis Garrel and Alex Brendemühl. Visually and talent-wise, what's not to like?

Each actor acquits her/himself well, and the cinematography (by Christophe Beaucrane) is generally entrancing and always varied, as we travel from the French farming countryside for a rest-cure in Switzerland and eventually to sunny, coastal Spain.

Ms Cotillard (above) plays a physically and emotionally problemed character named Gabrielle, forced by her mother into marriage to a man (Brendemühl, below, right) for whom she cares nothing. But when M.Garrel (at left, two photos below) comes into her life, ah -- things change!

How all this pans out, beginning near the end then flashing back to the start of things, works well, and Ms Garcia proves adept at holding us firm through some very quirky situations. (The oddest of these flirts with mental illness in a manner that displeased my spouse but which I was to view as unlikely but acceptable, given that, hey, this is a movie, after all.)

The film's great theme is actually love -- in two of its many forms: one, a short view that's immediate and insistent, the other a long one, strong and sacrificing. The result is strange, beautiful, thought-provoking and, yes, sentimental, but awfully kind and caring.

From IFC Films, in French with English subtitles and running two hours, From the Land of the Moon (the original French titles is Mal de pierres) arrives on DVD this coming Tuesday, November 21 -- for purchase or rental.

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