It is always interesting to watch Marion Cotillard, even in the odd film “From the Land of the Moon,” directed by Nicole Garcia and adapted from a novel. Cotillard plays Gabrielle, a woman from a French village, who is plunged into in an unhappy, arranged sexless marriage to José (Àlex Brendemühl), a Spanish farm worker. She longs to break out into a more satisfying life.

Gabrielle is viewed as psychologically disturbed because of her attitude, but as an audience will discern, she really does have mental trouble. She is sent to a recuperative center in the Swiss Alps, where medical problems (kidney stones) as well as her overall state are to be addressed. There the plot thickens.

At the health spa she meets an injured soldier who has served in the war in Indochina--André Sauvage, portrayed by Louis Garrel. Gabrielle falls hard for him, and this new passion takes over her psyche. She envisions running away with him to build a new, romantic life.

The twist at the end seems more like a joke played on the audience than a logical outcome, and is likely to leave one more annoyed than enlightened. It spoils a potentially effective drama and Cotillard’s impassioned performance goes for naught. A Sundance Selects film. Reviewed July 28, 2017.

Return to Previous Page