La Luna - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

La Luna Reviews

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December 11, 2016
Just a word of caution for those purchasing this incredible Bertolucci masterpiece in its current release (finally!) from Kino Lorber on BluRay -- The audio is defective. All the sections that have music are so distorted that it's painful to listen to. Luckily the film has very few moments where music is actually playing so at least that is a blessing, but where the opera music is played, it is atrocious. How it could be remastered this badly and no one noticed is beyond comprehension. Even the front menu audio is totally distorted. Didn't anyone at KL check this before it was mastered? Anyway, that is just a technical mishap -- KL should remaster this very worthy title and offer to replace the defective discs already sold.

That said, it shouldn't stop anyone from getting their hands on this stunning work -- I would say it is Bertolucci's BEST work and even more controversial than LAST TANGO. It has been hard to find for more than a few decades and now finally it is available. Bertolucci fans rejoice. Oedipus fans delight.


Something is revealed in this version that is VERY significant that you didn't get when it was first released. In the scene under the bleachers, there is a dialog overdub. Listen carefully (you can actually hear the audio change), and watch the mouth movement -- what you hear and what everyone has heard since it's release is, "They won't arrest me, I'm crazy." But that is NOT the original line that Bertolucci wrote or intended to use, but he had to change it to avoid even more controversy than the producers already were afraid the film would generate, possibly even get it banned. The original line is, "They can't arrest me, I'm pregnant." That is an effin MAJOR change and on how you will look at the story. And yes, that may have caused the film to be banned in quite a few countries, at least back in 1977.
½ January 31, 2015
Very interesting and VERY controversial film. (The mother-son masturbation scene alone is a serious eye-opener that, without doubt, will leave viewers more than a tad-bit jaw-dropped!) Absorbing and tedious in bouts. Beautifully filmed, with a no-holds-barred perf by Clayburgh. Not for most mainstream audiences; but a must-see for Bertolucci admirers. (And, too, I used to go to Kings' hockey games with Matt -- as an adult, of course...! -- so I'm a bit biased....) :)
September 5, 2014
This is the strangest film Bertolucci ever made. It left me scratching my head. Too well done to be dismissed as "perverse trash" -- and yet, this is the over-all feeling that took me mid-point into the story. The film is done in the style of an opera. Bertolucci actually treats the uncomfortable, statutory rape and incestual result of a mother's desperation and her son's drug-addled confusion as secondary. And, then, he composes an all too easy resolution. Like opera, this is not reality. Vittorio Storaro's camera work is lush, interesting and beautiful. Jill Clayburgh gives it all for this film including odd and unnecessary genitalia close-up shots. The work here is solid. The story here is off-putting and disturbing. The problem with this story is it is not clear where Bertolucci stands on the unforgivable actions of a self-obsessed mother. But, maybe that isn't the point. Not for all tastes. If you are not a devoted lover of the works of Vittorio Storaro, Bernardo Bertolucci or Clayburgh -- you will most likely want to avoid this ambitious, ambiguous and ultimately plain odd late 1970's film.
April 12, 2014
This is where it all goes seriously wrong but I even have an affection for it. Soon afterwards Bertolucci would start making David Lean films with an accent, but here you can still tell it's him by looking at 5 minutes of it, and Jill Clayburgh gives a delicious performance.
½ August 5, 2013
Comparing with Louis Malle's Murmurs of the Heart, the incestuous relationship here is far too pretentious and theatrical. The controversy over incest is indeed unnecessary as Bertolucci should have other ideas to make the film more touching or socially reflexive, but he wants no more than gimmicks and that's how the brave performance of Jill Clayburgh is wasted. The mercurial mother-son relationship is annoying to watch and I would rather somebody else can halt it. However, the ending has offered some optimism over a revamped and flourishing new start, though the significance is debatable, especially to Mr. Bertolucci.
November 24, 2012
Small for Bertolucci.
June 6, 2012
Bertolucci use du symbole de la Lune avec beaucoup de précision pour véhiculer les émotions ressenties par ses personnages. Personnages qui, soit dit en passant, ne manquent absolument pas de couleurs. D'ailleurs, certaines scènes se démarquent parfois des autres dans le film, des scènes qui diffèrent des autres et qui crée un malaise chez le spectateur. (Par exemple, les acteurs vivent dans un monde civilisé, normal, là, et puis, à un enterrement d'un membre de leur famille, quand ils sont dans leurs limousines, eh bien, tout le monde, même le prêtre sont penchés sur les fenêtres pour les dévisager...)Enfin, moi qui a un trip d'analyse sur le complexe d'Oedipe ces temps-ci, me voilà avec une grande oeuvre italienne. D'ailleurs, je m'attendais à ce que Ma mère ressemble à ça. La Luna est sincèrement un grand film de Bertolucci selon moi, et si je dois continuer d'explorer les avenues du cinéma italien, c'est sur le boulevard Bertolucci que je le ferai.
December 4, 2011
how can i see it for free
October 12, 2011
La Luna is a spectacle-sized melodrama filled with a variety of themes - plots and subplots that merge asymmetrically into a melodramatic mold. Luna, decidedly shocking, lurid, and unsavory as it can be, is not so easily dismissed as "monstrous, cheap, vulgar rubbish," as a horrified Andrei Tarkovsky once termed it. Like his characters, Bertolucci is no stranger for going a bit too far, having been widely attacked for Last Tango in Paris earlier in the decade. Ultimately, while Luna hints at a resolution for its characters that restores the normative balance of the family structure, it also seems to content to keep its vivid beauty and its dark, perverse passions hopelessly entangled.

VERDICT: "Full Price" - My second highest rating (Positive to Mixed reaction). This is a rating to a movie I view as very entertaining and well made, and definitely worth paying the full price at a theatre to see or own on DVD. It is not perfect, but it is definitely excellent.
½ September 17, 2011
It's okay one... I think I'd really love to see the beautiful scenery of Italy in that 70s.
January 19, 2011
Too long and too weird to understand.
Super Reviewer
½ January 18, 2011
A couple of very hot, steamy scenes of incestuous cunnilingus that almost happens and a handjob that does.
½ November 20, 2010
Bernado Bertolucci is kinda like a performance artist hammering his penis to a block of wood. It's shocking the first time, but again and again, it begins to get tedious and lose its luster. After making Last Tango in Paris, a movie which provided Marlon Brando his last great role, he decided to make a movie about incest and herion. This movie is long and it good have been cut in half to receive the same effect. Jill Clayburgh is an opera singer whose husband dies and her son falls into heroin use, so she decides to give herself to him so he won't do drugs. Shock and awe is one thing, but there's got to be a reason to be this way. This movie lingers on and on and on and on and on
½ November 7, 2010
Neurotic people who do not know how to love are creepier than most horror movie villians. See also Ordinary People and Winter Light.
Super Reviewer
October 30, 2010
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.
October 30, 2010
Well... that's quite something. Not quite as bat**** crazy as I expected, and surprisingly good. Bertolucci treads a very fine line between something that could be pure and utter schlock, and a more mature spin on the Oedipus story. I was afraid that the, uh, [i]leap[/i] shall we say, would be so utterly unbelievable that it would kill the film stone dead right away, but Bertolucci pretty much sets it up from the first shot. Almost every single scene has something that is leading towards Clayburgh pleasuring her son. It's done to such a degree that the, uh, [i]leap[/i] into incest is nearly reasonable. [i]Nearly[/i].
½ August 28, 2010
Not quite sure how I exactly feel about this film. But it is an amazing film and the opera versions were awesome, i can say it..
August 26, 2010
Opera, incest and Bertolucci! How can you go wrong? Luckily, Vittorio Storaro's cinematography is gorgeous!
½ August 10, 2010
another trip 2 italy movie
August 3, 2010
Storaro's framing through the first hour helps to create some magical moments. But as the film goes more deeply into the repulsive territory of, to put it politely, unbridled maternal love through a child's drug addiction, it stays true to the operatic tone at its core but loses all semblance of restraint, taste, or greater truth.
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