La Luna (1979) - Rotten Tomatoes

La Luna (1979)

La Luna (1979)

La Luna



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Bernardo Bertolucci's controversial drama explores the troubled life of a young man and his troubling relationship with his parents. Joe (Matthew Barry) is the son of famous opera singer Caterina Silveri (Jill Clayburgh); while Joe believes that Caterina's husband Douglas Winter (Fred Gwynne) is his biological father, the truth is that he was sired by Caterina's former lover, who is now living in Italy and working as a schoolteacher. Joe is moody and rebellious and needs a strong father figure to guide him and keep him in line. But Douglas is ineffectual and emotionally weak, and when Joe witnesses Douglas committing suicide, it sends the young man over the edge. In hopes of boosting her singing career, which has fallen into a rut, Caterina decides to move to Italy, with Joe in tow; Joe falls in with a dangerous crowd and becomes addicted to heroin, while Caterina, hoping to lure her son back to a safer and more healthy lifestyle, tries to become closer to him, which leads to a flirtation with incest. Jill Clayburgh's performance earned her a 1980 Golden Globe nomination.more
Rating: R
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Giuseppe Bertolucci, Clare Peploe, George Malko, Bernardo Bertolucci
In Theaters:
20th Century Fox Film Corporation


Jill Clayburgh
as Caterina Silveri
Matthew Barry
as Joe Silveri
Fred Gwynne
as Douglas Winter, Her ...
Tomás Milian
as Giuseppe
Alida Valli
as Giuseppe's mother
Franco Citti
as Man in Bar
Roberto Benigni
as Upholsterer
Carlo Verdone
as Director of Caracall...
Ronaldo Bonacchi
as Director of Caracall...
Peter Eyre
as Edward
Pippo Campanini
as Innkeeper
Liana DelBalzo
as Maestro's sister
Rodolfo Lodi
as Maestro Giancarlo Ca...
Shara di Nepi
as Concetta, Caterina's...
Jole Silvani
as Wardrobe Mistress
Mimmo Poli
as Piano Mover
Enzo Siciliano
as Orchestra conductor ...
Alessandro Vlad
as Caracalla Conductor
Iole Silvani
as Wardrobe mistress
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for La Luna

Critic Reviews for La Luna

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (5)

Loud, vulgar, and frequently obnoxious, the film nevertheless has a perfect integrity in its excesses. This is filmmaking from the groin, unabashed and unrestrained.

Full Review… | August 2, 2015
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Did a little bird try to warn Bertolucci that this material was, to put it kindly, two bricks short of a load?

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

La Luna is a spectacle-sized melodrama filled with a variety of themes -- plots and subplots that merge asymmetrically into a melodramatic mold.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Top Critic

Ravishing to look at, but the movie's real curiosity is the way it fails to reverse Bertolucci's usual preoccupations.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Time Out
Top Critic

No amount of purloined Verdi can transform these banalities into anything else, while the film's ending, if it means what it certainly seems to mean, would embarrass a backstage Broadway musical movie, much less a backstage Rome opera movie.

Full Review… | July 16, 2008
New York Times
Top Critic

In elegance, rapidity of execution and perfection of expression, Bertolucci is the cinema's Stendhal.

Full Review… | August 2, 2015
Sight and Sound

Audience Reviews for La Luna

Very long at over 2 hours, but is so beautifully done it does not out stay it's welcome. This film deals with very damaged people and it won't be for everyone as it does contain quite an unhealthy relationship between a mother and son. It is not done in an exploitative way, though, these are people who are in pain and maybe even temporarily crazy.
I was very impressed with the young guy who plays the son. I was surprised after watching this that his career never went further. He plays vulnerability and distress beautifully. Jill Clayburgh as the mother is slightly over the top, but then so is her character, so I assume she was written that way.
Well worth a look.

Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

Opera, incest and Bertolucci! How can you go wrong? Luckily, Vittorio Storaro's cinematography is gorgeous!

John Miller

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