Title: From the Land of the Moon
Director: Nicole Garcia
Writers: A lot of people
Release date: 9 June, 2017
I forgave Marion Cotillard’s unspeakable death scene in The Dark Knight Rises very quickly. I cannot help but chortle every time I witness that appalling portrayal. But she is an incredible actor and I suspect that the French film From the Land of the Moon had only Marion in mind.
What’s it about?
From the Land of the Moon tells the story of Gabrielle. She is desperate for passion and love. At the start of the movie she is devastated after being rejected by her teacher, who lends her a book about love. Her family, who seemingly wants to be rid of her odd behavior, secure her a safe future by requesting that she engages to a man (Àlex Brendemühl) who has been kind to the family. Gabrielle enters into an arranged marriage, however, she becomes constantly sick with kidney stones. She ends up in a spa to recover where she meets a veteran that she falls in love with.
So it is a romantic story then?
The premise, which is based on a book of the same name, sells itself as a romance. The romance veils over the tragedy of the story. The film does not portray a person yearning for long-lasting love. It presents a woman who is torn between whether she should pursue a bond with the veteran, or remain with a man who cares for her and offers her a life of love and security. From the Land of the Moon keeps its cards close to its chest because you are never sure of the direction it is heading. If anything, the French film showcases Cotillard’s talents and does little to have the impact that you desperately need from each scene.
Is it not interesting?
It is not slow moving, but it does maintain the same dull tone throughout the movie which prevents it from becoming a grand film. From a filmmaking perspective it has all the components to outshine many, especially in a festival environment. The story progression is so lumbered that it prevents From the Land of the Moon from growing into a drama worth re-watching. It establishes itself as a story about yearning love and the desire for better, however you come away feeling quite empty.
Anything positive about From the Land of the Moon?
Marion Cotillard. If anything, it showcases her skills as an actor and the entire movie is a platform. The story is centered around her character. There are some okay supporting performances, but again, these lack impact. Scenes where Gabrielle is having episodes of pain, sexual suppression or long wondering looks near the camera is what makes this Cotillard’s film. Without her, From the Land of the Moon is an unforgettable festival movie that does not achieve any connection with the audience.
Unless you are tracking Marion Cotillard’s filmography I would leave this one. Despite showcasing her talents the movie leaves you feeling rather empty. The ending does not even muster any feeling. You will not remember it.
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Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.