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Closer to the Moon

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In the aftermath of World War II, a group of Jewish intellectuals and former resistance fighters find themselves under suspicion by the new Communist regime in Romania for their anti-Soviet views. Among them is Max Rosenthal (Mark Strong), a former police inspector turned robber who finds himself drawn into a bizarre criminal conspiracy with his colleagues.

The film begins as Max and his accomplices are robbing a bank dressed as communist officials, but it quickly becomes clear that this is not the typical heist movie. Instead, we are plunged deep into the complicated web of relationships and betrayals that bind these characters together. It turns out that some of the robbers are former Nazi collaborators who are now cozying up to the Communist Party out of self-preservation, while others are staunch anti-Communists who see the theft as a final act of rebellion against the oppressive regime.

Caught in the middle of all this is Alice (Vera Farmiga), a former colleague of Max's who is now married to one of the other robbers, and who has also caught the eye of the new Communist prosecutor in town, Virgil (Harry Lloyd). As Virgil begins to investigate the crime and interrogate the suspects, Alice is forced to confront the many secrets and traumas of her past, including her complicated relationship with Max, whom she still loves despite his criminal past.

What makes Closer to the Moon such an interesting film is the way it weaves together so many different genres and tones. At times, it feels like a tense heist movie, as we watch the robbers struggle to cover up their tracks and avoid suspicion. At other times, it feels like a black comedy, as we see the characters bicker and snipe at each other while trying to maintain their dignity in the face of government oppression. And at still other times, it feels like a romantic tragedy, as we witness the slow unraveling of Alice and Max's relationship, which is haunted by their shared memories of the war and the Holocaust.

All of these different tones and genres are held together by a strong sense of historical context and social commentary. The film is set in a fascinating time period, when Romania was struggling to come to terms with its painful past and carve out a new identity for itself under communism. As such, the characters' actions are always informed by their political beliefs and their experiences in war and under totalitarianism. But the film never feels didactic or pedantic; instead, it uses its historical setting as a backdrop against which the characters' personal dramas and moral quandaries can play out.

The performances in Closer to the Moon are top-notch all around. Vera Farmiga is particularly impressive as Alice, bringing a real depth and complexity to her character's conflicted emotions and inner turmoil. Mark Strong, too, is excellent as Max, conveying both his sharp wit and his deep sense of regret with equal conviction. And Harry Lloyd is a revelation as Virgil, imbuing the character with just the right mix of charm, menace, and vulnerability.

Director Nae Caranfil brings a real flair and energy to the film, using inventive camera angles and editing techniques to keep things moving along at a brisk pace. And the period detail is impeccable, from the costumes and makeup to the detailed recreations of postwar Romania.

In the end, Closer to the Moon is a film that defies easy categorization, blending elements of heist movies, romantic tragedies, and social commentary into a rich and rewarding whole. Its historical setting and complex characters lend it a weight and depth that is rare in genre cinema, and its powerful performances and sharp storytelling make it a must-see for fans of smart, adult-oriented cinema.

Closer to the Moon is a Comedy, Drama movie released in 2014. It has a runtime of 112 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.7. It also holds a MetaScore of 47.

How to Watch Closer to the Moon

Where can I stream Closer to the Moon movie online? Closer to the Moon is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at The Roku Channel Free, Kanopy, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play. Some platforms allow you to rent Closer to the Moon for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Nae Caranfil
Vera Farmiga, Mark Strong, Harry Lloyd
Also directed by Nae Caranfil
Closer to the Moon is available on .