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The Moon in the Gutter

Moon is a FF25 million love-cum-whodunit comedy featuring frames to hang worthily in any museum of photography, some good acting, some stagey acting, plus a plot and dialog that together constitute a catalog of all the favorite corny twists and mouthings of yesterday's popular films and novels. None of this works even as tongue-in-cheek satire. Superficial value is all this film has.

With:
Gerard Depardieu Nastassja Kinski Victoria Abril Vittorio Mezzogiorno Dominique Pinon Milena Vukotic

Moon is a FF25 million love-cum-whodunit comedy featuring frames to hang worthily in any museum of photography, some good acting, some stagey acting, plus a plot and dialog that together constitute a catalog of all the favorite corny twists and mouthings of yesterday’s popular films and novels. None of this works even as tongue-in-cheek satire. Superficial value is all this film has.

Jean-Jacques Beineix, a confessed conoisseur of trashy novels, has based his script on a murder novel by David Goodis. He has a big, solid longshoreman, Gerard (played with muted strength by Gerard Depardieu), continuing a restless search for the rapist who caused his adult kid sister to borrow his razor and commit suicide with it leaving blood for the moon of the title to be reflected in.

Gerard lives with his kid brother and father, both layabouts and alcoholics, in a derelict house near the city port. The houses also serves as a cheap bar and a brothel, where his regular girlfriend Bella works (a vivacious performance by Victoria Abril). A modicum of rough order is maintained by the father’s black wife (Bertice Reading, screaming her dialog in an amusing way).

To this place comes one night a rich young man, Newton Channing (Vittorio Mezzogiorno), who stay’s on with the obvious intent of drinking himself to death. His sister turns up to bring him home. She is Loretta, and she is played with sly, warm smiles by Nastassja Kinski, appearing ready to burst into sexual maturity any minute now. Bernard and Loretta are drawn towards each other.

Film goes on to have a couple of endings, or new beginnings maybe. But most audiences will by then have ceased to care long ago.

The Moon in the Gutter

France - Italy

Production: Gaumont/TF1/Opera. Director Jean-Jacques Beineix; Producer Lise Fayolle (exec.); Screenplay Jean-Jacques Beineix; Camera Philippe Rousselot; Editor Monique Prim, Yves Deschamps; Music Gabriel Yared; Art Director Hilton McConnico

Crew: (Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1983. Running time: 137 MIN.

With: Gerard Depardieu Nastassja Kinski Victoria Abril Vittorio Mezzogiorno Dominique Pinon Milena Vukotic

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