From the Land of the Moon

Marion Cotillard is a talented actress whose career has seen a steady increase in forgettable dramas over the years.  For every The Immigrant and Two Days, One Night, there’s a Rust and Bone and an It’s Only the End of the World (though, I confess, I like the latter film, but it is unquestionably Dolan’s weakest film).  Nicole Garcia’s From the Land of the Moon, which was in competition at Cannes last year, is yet another aggressively forgettable drama.

Cotillard stars as Gabrielle, a sickly married woman, becomes romantically interested in a veteran (Louis Garrel, ever-attractive even in an anemic state) during her treatment.  Those hoping for a seamy, sexy affair between two attractive French actors may have to look elsewhere: writer/director Garcia and co-writer Jacques Fieschi smartly leave sex mostly out of it, evoking a sense of longing and unfulfillment that seems appropriate from the film’s distant mood.

Cotillard, as always, is excellent at playing characters with physical or mental ailments.  One need not look much further than her portrayal of a depressed woman in Two Days, One Night, or as an amputee in Rust and Bone.  Though the familiarity of the performance prevents her from carrying the film in the same way as her previous performance.

Given this familiarity, the conventionality of Garcia’s film is made more apparent.  From the Land of the Moon is a film in search of a unique vision for a familiar story and setting, insisting far too much on gorgeous shots of the rural French landscape, as is typical of period pieces.

Along with its sluggish pace, the indistinct vision offered here makes it difficult to recommend From the Land of the Moon.  Though die-hard Cotillard fans may wish to seek it out for another solid, though exhaustingly redundant performance.


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Mark Barber: @WorstCinephile

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