Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
Original title: La Face Cachee De La Lune
Canada, 2003. FCL Films, Media Principia, Studio Ex-centris. Screenplay by Robert Lepage, based on his play. Cinematography by Ronald Plante. Produced by Bob Krupinski, Mario St-Laurent. Music by Benoit Jutras. Production Design by Jean Le Bourdais. Costume Design by Marie-Chantale Vaillancourt. Film Editing by Philippe Gagnon. Toronto International Film Festival 2003.
Robert Lepage casts himself, unwisely, in two lead roles in this coldly unaffecting character study, centring around the inner lack of passions of a former physics professor who has taken to working a mundane telemarketing job. He spends his free time working on his thesis, concerning man’s exploration of the cosmos as a result of human vanity, which he is hoping to pitch to a visiting Russian cosmonaut. Meanwhile, his mother (Anne-Marie Cadieux) has just died, and the loss of his close relationship with her has left him with a void that he can’t seem to overcome. His frustration is a complete mystery to his brother (also Lepage, even though they’re not playing twins), who enjoys his career as a weatherman and doesn’t seem to be wrapped up in the same existential crises as his complicated sibling. The film features the same gorgeous, dreamlike imagery that the director is so very good at putting on the screen, but the characters are mostly unlikable and the auteur is far too colourless an actor to make anything of the two he portrays.