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Far Side of the Moon (Unrated)

Release Date: December 2nd, 2005 (NYC-Angelika Film Center) by TLA Releasing. The Cast: Robert Lepage, Céline Bonnier, Anne-Marie Cadieux. Directed by Robert Lepage In French with subtitles. BASIC PREMISE: After his mother (Cadieux) dies, Phillipe André (Lepage) figures out his life while bonding with his successful brother André (Lepage). ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Robert Lepage gives not one but two great performances as and his older brother André. He makes both characters act and look differently so that you can easily distinguish between them. Philippe, a lonely substitute lecturer who also works as a telemarketer, suffers from a mid-life crises as he tries to find meaning in his lonely, mundane life.. After his sick mother dies, he loses his grip on reality as he yearns for those precious moments that he spent with her while she was healthy and beautiful. It’s not clear exactly why his ex-girlfriend left him, but clearly he has bad luck with women. He even manages to anger his boss at work by making too many personal calls. To occupy his time, he shoots a witty home-video introducing his life to extra-terrestrials for a SETI, a space program that might send it into outer space in signals. He also tries to meet up with a Russian expert on astrology to show him his crazy thesis about the cosmos which means a lot to him. André is much more serious and relaxed--he seems happy with his job as a weatherman without questioning reality as much. Predictably, he doesn’t get along with his stubborn brother. The Far Side of the Moon centers on Philippe and André relationship without much going on in terms of plot, but both characters are interesting and believable. It would have been nice to watch more scenes with their mother, but the brief flashbacks provide enough to give you the basic idea of how dear she has always been to Philippe. The beautiful cinematography combined with the superb musical score make The Far Side of the Moon both stylish and inventive. SPIRITUAL VALUE: Although many of his ideas seem crazy, Philippe at least makes you ponder about existentialism and the meaning of life without being too preachy. He frustrates and bores his brother as well as a bartender with his theories, but it’s nice to know that he’s being analytical and unafraid to voice his thoughts. Hopefully, he will use his ideas constructively by turning them into a book, but it seems like he is endlessly searching to understand his mundane, materialistic world. INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Minimal plot development. NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 1 THE BOTTOM LINE: Stylish, thought-provoking with a delightfully witty, character-driven script. RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)

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