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"A Walk on the Moon"

Click to buy at Amazon.com Reviewed by Terry Cochran

The summer of 1969 holds a diverse selection of memories for many, including but not limited to Woodstock, the color avocado green, and Neil Armstrong making "one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind." "A Walk on the Moon" is a romantic drama about the struggles of family life. It focuses on the traditionally ‘by the book’ young Jewish mother who feels she may have missed out in her young adult years because she became a mother and subsequently a wife at such a young age. Not to say she does not love her children and husband dearly, but this beautifully acted film portrays her struggle with coming to terms with unexpected opportunities and temptations that have arisen while she and her family are on vacation.

Pearl Kantowitz (Diane Lane) is a seemingly happy housewife, with her husband Marty (Liev Schreiber), a T.V. repair man, their teenage daughter Alison (Anna Paquin) and young son Danny (Bobby Boriello). Accompanied by Marty’s mother Lillian Kantowitz (Tovah Feldshuh), lovingly referred to as “Bubby,” they head out to their usual summer vacation spot away from the city, a little bungalow settlement in the Catskill Mountains, unexpectedly close to where Woodstock will be held that very same summer. The Kantowitzes, along with other Jewish families, plan to spend their vacation playing pinochle, swimming in the lake, watching Neil Armstrong walk on the moon and relaxing away from the busy rush of the city. All is going fairly well with only a few sibling squabbles, when Marty spends the week in the city working while Pearl and Bubby stay behind to watch the children and enjoy their vacation.

Upon Marty’s departure, many unexpected things start happening. Alison “becomes a woman” and also becomes romantically involved for the first time with a fellow camper. While Pearl comes to the less then subtle realization that this was not the scenario she had imagined prior to becoming pregnant at 17, she begins to contemplate the fact that life may have passed her by.

Enter Walker Jerome, or as he is more elusively referred to, “The Blouse Man” (Viggo Mortenson). The Blouse Man plays an integral role in Pearl’s mid-life crisis. He is the romantic and sexually charged protagonist who bends Pearl’s concept of love and sexuality.

All the actors absolutely encompass their characters and successfully convey all the aspects of their family/life crisis in a heartfelt and relatively realistic manner. The pinnacle climactic moment is the scene of confrontation among Lane, Schreiber and Mortenson that is a trio of acting that could not be forgotten anytime soon. As Pearl faces her moment of indiscretion with Marty and her children, she truly grasps how her actions have affected her family.

You can see the struggle to do the right thing and the need to follow her heart written all over Pearl’s face for the majority of this film. It is the kind of film that makes you feel the desire and hunger for that all-encompassing love that happens to find Pearl within the wrong lifetime. "A Walk on the Moon" is a powerfully evocative film that will pull at your heartstrings and have you grooving to the wonderful soundtrack all at the same time.

To listen to or buy songs in MP3 format from the soundtrack see below:

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