THE REEL BINGE with Lee Ostler: CLOSER TO THE MOON (2015)

Written & Directed by Nae Caranfil
A bit of history to set the stage. It’s 1959 in Bucharest. As it was in many Soviet states, Jews who led the Resistance against the Nazis during the war were increasingly being persecuted and marginalized. Immediately following the war, many of these people found themselves in positions of power and Closer_to_the_Mooninfluence, only to see it  chipped away and taken from them over the next 15 years. An omnipresent fear of “Zionist Conspiracy” preoccupies the leaders of the ruling Communist Party.
So. We open on the scene of a daring, day-light bank robbery masquerading as a film shoot in order to assuage the fears of an onlooking crowd. A young, aspiring filmmaker Vigil (Harry Lloyd) looks on in fascination. A year later, the 5 thieves have been caught, tried, convicted and sentenced to death. The gang includes Max Rosenthal (Mark Strong) and Alice (Vera Farmiga). Virgil, now a cameraman for a film studio, is given the job of not only documenting the trial but recreating the crime with the gang for propaganda purposes. The gang decide this film will be a comedy. Subversive until the end. To tell you anymore would ruin a very smart and and entertaining flick.
Now this is one of those “based on a true story” deals. People seem to be in love with shitting all over factually inaccuracies of this type of film. Most of history is a hodgepodge of bullshit written by the person yelling the loudest and longest. I don’t care what actually happened, as long as some of it may have. I want to be entertained. Mark Strong and Vera Farmiga are great, as always, and they are backed up by a really strong supporting cast in this Polish produced political-comedy. This is a story about really attacking and subverting the political establishment, which somehow manages to be funny throughout. Everyone wants to go space, don’t they?

Closer to the Moon Official Trailer (2015) – Vera Farmiga, Mark Strong

Associated Recommendations:
Mark Strong: As Sorter in the fun, complicated, crime flick “Revolver”(2006). As Archy in the super entertaining, “RocknRolla” (2008) and as Merlin in delightfully violent “Kingsman: The Secret Service” (2014)
 
Vera Farmiga: As Samantha Powell in the recent courtroom drama “The Judge” (2014). As Lorraine Warren in “The Conjuring” (2013) (As far as I hear, I can’t watch that shit, it’s way, way too scary) and as Alex Goran in the incredibly re watchable and charming “Up In The Air” (2009).
(Lee Ostler is a musician, avid fight fan, man-of-many-words, and huge fan of fine cinema.  Each Thursday, he will start our minds rolling for the weekend with another gem of a film we can hunt down.  Some will be easier to find than others, but that’s part of the game.  Get the home theatre ready, pop the corn, and prepare to see some friggin’ awesome films)