October 16, 2010

The Insatiable Moon

"Sometimes you have to let go
to see where you end up"

This has got to be my all time favourite movie of the year. It's has a simple, digestible, storyline but it's still big enough to fill the most shallowest of appetites. I spent a lot of my time watching the movie with my eyebrows pinned to the top of my head - as if that would stop me being moved by the characters or bawling like a baby. 

Ian Mune, who plays Norm, an alcoholic, won me over with his deep penetrable eyes that can only come from someone with years and experience of profound yet often hidden homelessness. Yet there was never a hint of shame. You do, however, get a rare insight into the sadness and the understanding of how alcohol, for Norm, had become a way of connecting to people - some he sees and others, we don't. Norm is like many people we  pass on the street and wonder why they don't just dry out. After watching this movie you get to understand - you'd be damn crazy to go through his life sober.

Greg Johnson, who plays Bob, the homeless shelter's live-in caretaker, was my next best character. He loves profanity and dishes it out like a boy racer on speed - fast and furious - but his heart is in the right place. It's refreshing to hear let alone see his non-PC approach to his boys who all have varying stages of mental illness. It would be easy to assume that Bob dislikes his job. He cooks, cleans, and mothers his seemingly thankless lodgers - at one point, cussing them out for not looking after their threadbare clothes and all the while, threading a needle to patch them up. But looks can be deceiving - Bob needs these men as much they need him. It's a pure delight.

I won't go into the storyline or what happens to these characters because I really urge you to see this New Zealand movie yourself. Not only because it helps support Kiwi actors and the movie industry as a whole but it's a glorious and heart-moving way of looking into the lives of the mentally ill and seeing - ironically - just how "normal" they really are. 

The Insatiable Moon - NZ details

1 comment:

  1. I watched this movie and couldn't help but laugh at bits not so much much because they were funny bt because the were 'real'.... a reflection of some of that generations chronic mental health clients who have been placed in the Community after years of living in the countries institutions such as Lake Alice, Sunnyside, Cherry Farm and Kingseat etc. This movie really shows the issues they and society face adjusting with total heart and humour. I totally loved it!


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