From the Land of the Moon

Director Nicole Garcia delivers an intriguing and unconventional tale about love and redemption, although neither seems the likely outcome.

The story opens in France with a placid couple accompanying their young son to a piano competition. When Gabrielle spots a street sign, she becomes a woman possessed, fleeing the car.

Flashback to more than a decade earlier and we see a younger Gabrielle, seemingly wanton and irrational who’s despised by her straitlaced mother, who provides a Spanish itinerant worker with an unexpected dowry to marry her.

Health issues send Gabrielle to a Swiss clinic for a “cure,” where she meets a badly wounded soldier and falls in love.

Marion Cotillard delivers a mesmerizing performance as the troubled Gabrielle and Louis Garrel is haunting as the soulful soldier. But it is Alex Brendemuhl who impresses as the soft-spoken husband, Jose, delivering a performance laden with quiet pain and stoicism.

Expect the unexpected in this satisfyingly unorthodox love triangle.

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