Review: ‘The Moon in a Bottle’

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.

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.

The Moon in a Bottle

Spain - U.K.

Production

A Hispano Foxfilm release (in Spain) of a Sogepaq presentation of an Ikiru Films, Sogecine (Spain)/Zephyr Films (U.K.) production, with participation of TVE, TVC, Canal Plus. (International sales: Sogepaq, Madrid.) Produced by Edmon Roch, Simon de Santiago. Directed, written by Grojo.

Crew

Camera (color), Unax Mendia; editor, Adoracion G. Elipe; music, Rene Dupere; art director, Cesar Macarron. Reviewed at Cines Acteon, Madrid, Nov. 19, 2007. Spanish dialogue. Running time: 97 MIN.

With

Edu Soto, Barbara Goenaga, Dominique Pinon, Pep Jove, Leigh Zimmerman, Michael Jenn, Jagvier Mejia.
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