Though the shadow of Gallic duo Jeunet & Caro looms too large over “The Moon in a Bottle,” territories with a taste for well-produced Euro-whimsy could show an interest in this lively ensembler set in a Frenchified bar. Peopled by nostalgists, the lovelorn, a gypsy band, a pregnant Chinese tarot reader and a mule, the film has a forced eccentricity and seems unsure where its many plotlines are heading. Pic does deliver the occasional, authentically magical moment, but mid-November release opened bland.
Zeta (Edu Soto) is a ghost writer with literary ambitions frustrated by his agent (Jagvier Mejia). Zeta frequents a bar run by Pascal Rossignol (Jeunet & Caro regular Dominique Pinon), one-time artiste in a theater that’s been demolished to make way for a statue of a large egg. Pascal is anxiously awaiting a reunion with his old cabaret cohorts, singer Irene (Leigh Zimmerman) and Kurt (Michael Jenn). Among the cast, Pinon stands out; Zeta is a dull character, in whom even the script seems to lose interest. Visuals have an eye-catching range of pop tones, lensing is hyperactive and the musical sequences are good.