Moonfish

As determinedly private as the Lampris regius for which it's named, "Moonfish" is a tough-to-swallow and undernourishing course that fatally mistakes melodrama for insight. Distribs won't exactly school around this cold fish, although some fests may nibble.

As determinedly private as the Lampris regius for which it’s named, “Moonfish” is a tough-to-swallow and undernourishing course that fatally mistakes melodrama for insight. Distribs won’t exactly school around this cold fish, although some fests may nibble.

A fortnight before her summer 1999 nuptials, spoiled and headstrong party girl Maria Joao (Beatriz Batarda), hung over and thinking she might be pregnant, decides marriage isn’t for her. Over objections of politically ambitious dad (Luis Miguel Cintra) and with the encouragement of black sheep Uncle Nini (vet Francisco Rabal), Joao blows the family estate vowing to return a large boat and trailer to her fiancee in Spain. She enlists dad’s godson Gabriel (Marcello Urgeghe) to drive the rig across the southern Iberian plains, with a visit to estranged sibling Ze Maria (Ricardo Aibeo) in Cordoba sparking class and sexual shenanigans. Wooden playing is masked but not helped by complicated structure, called “quasi-traditional” by helmer Jose Alvaro Morais but in fact just tedious. Tech credits are glossy. Title comes from gay lovers’ quarrel/wordgame in Federico Garcia Lorca’s subversive, controversial 1930 play “El Publico,” performed sporadically and to no great effect here.

Moonfish

Portugal-France-Spain

Production: A Paulo Branco presentation of a Madragoa Filmes/Gemini Films production. (International sales: Gemini Films, Paris/Madragoa Filmes, Alcochete, Portugal.) Produced by Paulo Branco.

Crew: Directed by Jose Alvaro Morais. Screenplay by Morais, Jeanne Waltz. Camera (color), Edgar Moura; editor, Jackie Bastide; music, Ricardo Del Fra; production designer, Joao Calvario; sound (Dolby Digital), Philippe Morel. Reviewed at Montreal Film Festival (competing), Aug. 29, 2000. Original title: Peixe lua. Running time: 124 MIN.

With: With: Beatriz Batarda, Marcello Urgeghe, Ricardo Aibeo, Luis Miguel Cintra, Isabel Ruth, Assuncion Balaguer, Paula Guedes, Francisco Rabal.

More Film

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    ‘Skyscraper’ Tops China Box Office With $48 Million Opening

    As determinedly private as the Lampris regius for which it’s named, “Moonfish” is a tough-to-swallow and undernourishing course that fatally mistakes melodrama for insight. Distribs won’t exactly school around this cold fish, although some fests may nibble. A fortnight before her summer 1999 nuptials, spoiled and headstrong party girl Maria Joao (Beatriz Batarda), hung over […]

  • ABBA performing as an unknown band

    The Secret Majesty of ABBA: They Were the Feminine Pop Opera of Their Time

    As determinedly private as the Lampris regius for which it’s named, “Moonfish” is a tough-to-swallow and undernourishing course that fatally mistakes melodrama for insight. Distribs won’t exactly school around this cold fish, although some fests may nibble. A fortnight before her summer 1999 nuptials, spoiled and headstrong party girl Maria Joao (Beatriz Batarda), hung over […]

  • Dwayne Johnson's 'Skyscraper' Leads China Box

    China Box Office Propels 'Skyscraper' to $75 Million Overseas

    As determinedly private as the Lampris regius for which it’s named, “Moonfish” is a tough-to-swallow and undernourishing course that fatally mistakes melodrama for insight. Distribs won’t exactly school around this cold fish, although some fests may nibble. A fortnight before her summer 1999 nuptials, spoiled and headstrong party girl Maria Joao (Beatriz Batarda), hung over […]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    Box Office: 'Equalizer 2' Narrowly Edges Past 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again' to Land at No. 1

    As determinedly private as the Lampris regius for which it’s named, “Moonfish” is a tough-to-swallow and undernourishing course that fatally mistakes melodrama for insight. Distribs won’t exactly school around this cold fish, although some fests may nibble. A fortnight before her summer 1999 nuptials, spoiled and headstrong party girl Maria Joao (Beatriz Batarda), hung over […]

  • Durban FilmMart Celebrates Women as Industry

    Durban FilmMart Celebrates Women as Industry Still Struggles With Transformation

    As determinedly private as the Lampris regius for which it’s named, “Moonfish” is a tough-to-swallow and undernourishing course that fatally mistakes melodrama for insight. Distribs won’t exactly school around this cold fish, although some fests may nibble. A fortnight before her summer 1999 nuptials, spoiled and headstrong party girl Maria Joao (Beatriz Batarda), hung over […]

  • MayFair, directed by Sara Blecher

    Sara Blecher’s ‘Mayfair’ Brings Feminine Gaze to Gangster Tale

    As determinedly private as the Lampris regius for which it’s named, “Moonfish” is a tough-to-swallow and undernourishing course that fatally mistakes melodrama for insight. Distribs won’t exactly school around this cold fish, although some fests may nibble. A fortnight before her summer 1999 nuptials, spoiled and headstrong party girl Maria Joao (Beatriz Batarda), hung over […]

  • Todd Brown, XYZ Films

    African Finance Under Spotlight at Durban FilmMart  

    As determinedly private as the Lampris regius for which it’s named, “Moonfish” is a tough-to-swallow and undernourishing course that fatally mistakes melodrama for insight. Distribs won’t exactly school around this cold fish, although some fests may nibble. A fortnight before her summer 1999 nuptials, spoiled and headstrong party girl Maria Joao (Beatriz Batarda), hung over […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content