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Globe and Mail Update

2 out of 4 stars

Title
From the Land of the Moon
Written by
Nicole Garcia and Jacques Fieschi
Directed by
Nicole Garcia
Starring
Marion Cotillard, Alex Brendemuehl and Louis Garrel
Classification
14A
Country
France/Belgium
Language
French
Year
2017

To paraphrase a quote from music critic Robert Christgau on Daft Punk, this film is so French I want to force-feed the thing and cut out its liver. Set in postwar France, From the Land of the Moon stars a game Marion Cotillard as a gloomy, feverishly romantic woman who yearns for unattainable men before and after being married off by her mother to a strong and silent Spaniard she doesn't know (let alone love). Suffering kidney stones, she leaves France for a Swiss spa, where she meets a brooding, opium-dependent and piano-playing veteran officer wounded in the First Indochina War. Their affair is doomed; her very aware husband suffers quietly. The bulk of the slow-moving film is told in one long flashback, and while the fortysomething actress Cotillard defies age extraordinarily, she can't pass for the young woman we meet early on. Director Nicole Garcia has a stylish eye for detail, but I haven't experienced French melodrama this rich since I spilled Bordeaux on my dying Parisian mistress's wedding gown. Still, the thing is almost watchable until a ridiculous reveal spoils whatever chances this film had at succeeding.

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