Rural Louisiana, summer of 1957, Elvis is King. At 14, Dani is coming of age. Her older sister is beautiful, smart, and off to Duke in the fall; her mom's pregnant with number four (Dad ... See full summary »
A mute woman along with her young daughter, and her prized piano, are sent to 1850s New Zealand for an arranged marriage to a wealthy landowner, and she's soon lusted after by a local worker on the plantation.
USA, summer of 1969. Man is about to walk on the moon, the Vietnam War is breaking out, and there is the great concert in Woodstock. In a holiday camp for Jewish families not far from Woodstock, Alison and her family are on vacation. Pearl, the mother is young and attractive, but defeated by life, having become pregnant on her first loving relationship, forgetting her dreams to devote herself to her children. Marty, the father is absent because he is busily occupied by the television company broadcasting the moon landing. One day a charming salesman arrives at the camp, selling clothes and knick-knacks. He lives an intense life of love and passion, culminating in an escape to Woodstock with Alison, where events have a deep impact. Written by
The universal theme of coming to terms with the loss of youth and accepting a life of unfulfilled hopes and dreams is explored in `A Walk On the Moon,' directed by Tony Goldwyn. Diane Lane stars as Pearl Kantrowitz, a thirty-one year old mother of two, the oldest of whom, Alison (Anna Paquin), is fourteen; her husband, Marty (Liev Schreiber), is a square shooter who loves his wife and family and provides for them by working long hours in a shop repairing television sets. It's the summer of 69, and while on the family's extended vacation-- during which Marty must return to work for the week-- Pearl falls into discontent, and with Woodstock about to happen a mere stone's throw from the campground/resort at which they are staying, she soon succumbs to the siren's song of the 60s: The inhibition, freedom and free love-- all of which have been denied her since giving birth to her daughter at age seventeen. There's an honesty to Goldwyn's film, and though he captures the sense of the times in which the story is set fairly well, he nevertheless fails to elicit much sympathy for his leading lady, Lane. Perhaps it's because, though there is much about Pearl with which to identify, her story is just too familiar; her situation is far from being unique, and she has a decent, upper middle-class life, with a loving husband and two great kids. The fact that she started young and that her dreams were never realized is a shame, but it's not like she's the only one to whom such a fate has befallen. And her futile attempt at regaining her lost years comes across as somewhat shallow and decidedly unsympathetic; and without that sympathy the film sputters and finally stalls, even as Neil Armstrong is beginning his historic walk on the Moon. There's no question that Lane is attractive, and physically she fits the role of Pearl perfectly. But she simply doesn't possess the wherewithal to sell her character in this film. The emotional turmoil of what Pearl is experiencing seems restricted to the surface, and she never manages that depth of feeling that would've made the necessary connection with the audience. It's not that Lane is bad in this role, it's just that she's not that good. There are just too many gaps in credibility and too many false moments to be overlooked. It's as if the character throughout remained just beyond her grasp. Liev Schreiber, on the other hand, is outstanding as Marty. You have no trouble believing he is exactly who and what he is supposed to be. This is a character to whom most people will be able to relate, and if only Lane had been able to evoke the same kind or response as Schreiber, it would've made a tremendous difference in the overall aspect of the film. Anna Paquin gives a noteworthy performance as well, successfully capturing the angst of puberty while coping with an ever-changing world. The supporting cast includes Viggo Mortensen as Walker Jerome, the traveling salesman with whom Pearl attempts to reconcile her lost youth; Tovah Feldshuh (Lilian Kantrowitz); Bobby Boriello (Daniel); Stewart Bick (Neil); Jess Platt (Herb); Star Jasper (Rhoda) and Julie Kavner (Voice of the Social Director). There are some poignant moments in Goldwyn's film, and it does generate a certain sense of loss and longing; but overall, `A Walk On the Moon' is at best a momentary diversion that comes across like a finger painting on an impressionist's canvas. That is stays afloat at all is due mainly to Schreiber and Paquin's performances. Other than that, this is-- unfortunately-- a rather forgettable film that never quite attains the level of drama to which it aspires. I rate this one 5/10.
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