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La Moustache
La Moustache
Actors: Vincent Lindon, Emmanuelle Devos, Mathieu Amalric, Hippolyte Girardot, Cylia Malki
Director: Emmanuel Carrère
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
UR     2007     1hr 27min

One day, on a whim, Marc decides to shave off the mustache he?s worn all of his adult life. He waits patiently for his wife?s reaction, but neither she nor his friends seem to notice. Stranger still, when he finally tells ...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Vincent Lindon, Emmanuelle Devos, Mathieu Amalric, Hippolyte Girardot, Cylia Malki
Director: Emmanuel Carrère
Creators: Patrick Blossier, Emmanuel Carrère, Camille Cotte, Anne-Dominique Toussaint, Elliot Tong, Romain Le Grand, Jérôme Beaujour
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: KOCH LORBER FILMS
Format: DVD - Color - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 01/16/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 27min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Kendra M. (KendraM) from NASHVILLE, TN
Reviewed on 1/13/2008...
This is an absolutely incredible film. Just wonderful.

I read the book a couple of years ago and recently re-read it. As I looked it up, I found a film had been made-- I didn't know about it-- so I immediately purchased a copy.

If you haven't read the book, you must. And, this time, reading the book first is probably a good choice.

I'm baffled that some seem to think the ending was unclear. I think it was very clear. However, I don't want to include any spoilers here. It's exactly as it seems to be. Exactly. So, if you're confused and looking for a hidden meaning, you won't find one. It's exactly as the main character understands it to be at the very end.

The movie starts out with Marc asking his wife, Agnes, if he should shave his mustache. He does, and she doesn't notice. As a matter of fact, nobody notices. When he confronts his wife and friends, they insist that he has not had a mustache for at least 15 years. Obviously, somebody is either lying or going crazy. He is suspicious of his wife and friends for quite a while, but then begins to believe that they are indeed telling the truth, and he is somewhat removed from reality. Again, however, he starts distrusting his wife, since strangers recognize his mustache in older pictures.

Who is telling the truth? Who is insane? The film begins with us clearly seeing Marc's mustache. We also clearly see the hairs he trims, the hairs he washes away in the tub, and the hairs he washes away in his shaving tray. We watch him complete his entire shaving ritual-- first using shaving scissors, then an old-fashioned razor. We see everything through Marc's eyes. We meet his Serge and his wife. We hear Agnes talk about going to Marc's parents for lunch. What is real and what isn't?

Both Vincent Lindon and Emmanuelle Devos do a perfect job here. There isn't constant chatter or dialogue and nuances are delivered through subtle expression. They are both so wonderful-- Lindon in particular.

This movie is not about middle aged angst and it's not about a marriage falling apart. And, this is not a comedy by any stretch of the imagination, although, like life, there might be some time you find yourself laughing a bit-- but it's due to the absurdity of the situation and the empathy the characters inspire.

The music is gorgeous and the cinematography beautiful. This is very much recommended.

Note: The ending here is different from the book. The book's ending is a stunner. When I was finished, I just sat there wide-eyed-- not believing what I just finished reading. I re-read the last few pages because it was so unbelievably shocking.

That ending definitely wouldn't have worked here. At the end of the film, I was almost praying I wouldn't have to see what I read in the book. It might have worked visually, but I doubted that it would. Carrere made the right choice here when deciding to change the ending. Again, if you read the book, you wouldn't wonder at all who was right all along or if one of the characters were truly crazy. There is no ambiguity in the book. However, there's no ambiguity here, either. It just hits you with a half a ton of bricks rather than a full ton. Just make sure you realize that the main character understands the truth at the end, and you will understand, too.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Descent into madness? Maybe yes, maybe no.
Kendra | 01/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is an absolutely incredible film. Just wonderful.

I read the book a couple of years ago and recently re-read it. As I looked it up, I found a film had been made-- I didn't know about it-- so I immediately purchased a copy.

If you haven't read the book, you must. And, this time, reading the book first is probably a good choice.

I'm baffled that some seem to think the ending was unclear. I think it was very clear. However, I don't want to include any spoilers here. It's exactly as it seems to be. Exactly. So, if you're confused and looking for a hidden meaning, you won't find one. It's exactly as the main character understands it to be at the very end.

The movie starts out with Marc asking his wife, Agnes, if he should shave his mustache. He does, and she doesn't notice. As a matter of fact, nobody notices. When he confronts his wife and friends, they insist that he has not had a mustache for at least 15 years. Obviously, somebody is either lying or going crazy. He is suspicious of his wife and friends for quite a while, but then begins to believe that they are indeed telling the truth, and he is somewhat removed from reality. Again, however, he starts distrusting his wife, since strangers recognize his mustache in older pictures.

Who is telling the truth? Who is insane? The film begins with us clearly seeing Marc's mustache. We also clearly see the hairs he trims, the hairs he washes away in the tub, and the hairs he washes away in his shaving tray. We watch him complete his entire shaving ritual-- first using shaving scissors, then an old-fashioned razor. We see everything through Marc's eyes. We meet his Serge and his wife. We hear Agnes talk about going to Marc's parents for lunch. What is real and what isn't?

Both Vincent Lindon and Emmanuelle Devos do a perfect job here. There isn't constant chatter or dialogue and nuances are delivered through subtle expression. They are both so wonderful-- Lindon in particular.

This movie is not about middle aged angst and it's not about a marriage falling apart nor is it about a man entering a 15 year time warp. It also is not a comedy by any stretch of the imagination-- although, like life, there might be some time you find yourself laughing a bit-- but it's due to the absurdity of the situation and the empathy the characters inspire.

The music is gorgeous and the cinematography beautiful. This is very much recommended.

Note: The ending here is different from the book. The book's ending is a stunner. When I was finished, I just sat there wide-eyed-- not believing what I just finished reading. I re-read the last few pages because it was so unbelievably shocking.

That ending definitely wouldn't have worked here. At the end of the film, I was almost praying I wouldn't have to see what I read in the book. It might have worked visually, but I doubted that it would. Carrere made the right choice here when deciding to change the ending. Again, if you read the book, you wouldn't wonder at all who was right all along or if one of the characters were truly crazy. There is no ambiguity in the book. However, there's no ambiguity here, either. It just hits you with a half a ton of bricks rather than a full ton. And, that's not criticism-- a half ton still knocks you over. Just make sure you realize that the main character understands the truth at the end, and you will understand, too.

"
"NOTICE ANYTHING DIFFERENT ?"
Robin Simmons | Palm Springs area, CA United States | 01/15/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"A man shaves his "moustache" and his his wife -- or are they lovers? -- insists he never had one. And then things get really strange. Is someone messing with his mind? Or vice versa?

Up to the end, I loved this funny (at first) and finally disturbing French film that slyly forces you to shift the paradigm you think you're in.

How fragile our shimmering realities if some little thing fractures our bubble.

How ephemeral our identities that are held together by nothing more than fleeting reflections of self.

If you're fond of French films like Caché and Lemming, this one is a tasty treat up to a point.

But be warned that no matter how glued you might be to the unfolding Hitchcockian twists, the final ending is a HUGE, FRUSTRATING DISAPPOINTMENT. In fact, it made me angry to be so unsatisfied. There's such a thing too much trimming and editing to achieve some kind of minimalist existential French ambiance. The end of a movie should not leave the viewer scratching his head and muttering "Quoi?""
Engrossing AND satisfying.
C. Maxwell | In the South, USA | 10/11/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I seem to be among an apparently small group of people who did not find the ending a huge disappointment. I don't think I expected for a moment that in the end everything would wrap itself up nicely and all would be revealed. Don't look so hard to find the answers; it is quite simple. Once he had let his beard grow in and his moustache returned, his life and love as he knew it before shaving the moustache returned. As soon as it was gone, reality as he knew it was gone. Once it returned, his reality caught up to him. The ending "twist" as it were, to me, is which reality was waiting when his eyes opened at the very end, after re-shaving. In the beginning she says she would not know him without it. In Hong Kong, she says she'd be curious to see him without it. The question that remains is whether his reality is based on the moustache's existence alone, or his wife's perception of the moustache's existence. Superb acting throughout!"