GenreRomance, Drama Initial DVD releaseOctober 12, 1999 WriterPamela Gray
Release dateApril 2, 1999 CastDiane Lane (Pearl Kantrowitz), Viggo Mortensen (Walker Jerome), Liev Schreiber (Marty Kantrowitz), Anna Paquin (Alison Kantrowitz), Tovah Feldshuh (Lillian Kantrowitz), Stewart Bick (Neil Leiberman) Similar moviesAll Ladies Do It, The Voyeur, The Key, Zandalee, Gone Girl, Jamon Jamon
TaglineIt was the summer of Woodstock... when she became the woman she always wanted to be.
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A Walk on the Moon is a 1999 American drama film starring Diane Lane, Viggo Mortensen, Liev Schreiber and Anna Paquin. The film, which was set against the backdrop of the Woodstock festival of 1969 and the moon landing of that year, was distributed by Miramax Films. Directed by Tony Goldwyn, it was highly acclaimed on release, particularly Diane Lane's performance for which she earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Female Lead.
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Pearl Kantrowitz (Diane Lane) and her husband Marty (Liev Schreiber) are a lower middle class Jewish couple in New York City, where Marty is a television repairman. The movie begins with the couple and their family including their teenage daughter Alison (Anna Paquin) and young son Danny (Bobby Boriello) and Marty's mother Lillian (Tovah Feldshuh) going to their summer camp retreat, Dr. Folger's Bungalows, which they attend each summer.
Marty is forced to work away from home and hence, he only visits the family on weekends. This leaves Pearl feeling lonely and isolated. Pearl got pregnant at the age of 17 and she feels she missed enjoying her youth. With the absence of Marty, Pearl is attracted to the new "Blouse Man" Walker Jerome (Viggo Mortensen). Meanwhile, Alison is neglected and she experiences her first period, her first date, and her first kiss as she enters a relationship with another boy at the camp, Ross Epstein.
Marty is unable to visit the family because he has to repair more TV sets than usual, due to the impending moon landing. While the whole town celebrates the historic moonwalk, Pearl has sex with Walker. Marty's mother Lillian learns of the affair and tries to persuade Pearl to break it off. The affair continues when Marty cannot get up to visit on the weekend because of the traffic jam caused by the Woodstock festival, which is within walking distance of the bungalow colony. Pearl goes to the festival, and unbeknownst to her, Alison goes as well with Ross and her friends despite her mother previously forbidding it. Alison becomes upset after seeing Pearl and Walker carousing while on LSD.
Marty learns of the affair and confronts Pearl while Alison confronts her mother in an emotional scene. Pearl is forced to deal with her love of her family and her conflicting yearning for marital freedom.
Pearl finally makes her decision to stay with Marty and tells Walker she cannot go away with him. Walker says he understands. The final scene shows Pearl and Marty dancing together, first to Dean Martin's "When You're Smiling" and then to Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze", after Marty changes the station.
Diane Lane as Pearl Kantrowitz
Viggo Mortensen as Walker Jerome
Liev Schreiber as Marty Kantrowitz
Anna Paquin as Allison Kantrowitz
Tovah Feldshuh as Lillian Kantrowitz
Bobby Boriello as Danny Kantrowitz
Julie Kavner as P.A. Announcer
Mahée Paiement as Mrs. Dymbort
Star Jasper as Rhoda Leiberman
Ellen David as Eleanor Gelfand
Lisa Bronwyn Moore as Norma Fogler
Lisa Jakub as Myra Naidell
Joseph Perrino as Ross Epstein
"More ('Ti guardero nel cuore')" by Bobby Darin
"The Name Game" by Lincoln Chase and Shirley Elliston
"Danke Schoen" by Wayne Newton
"Wishin' & Hopin'" by Dusty Springfield
"Ripple" by The Grateful Dead
"For Your Love" by The Yardbirds
"Sunlight" by The Youngbloods
"Summertime" by Janis Joplin (Big Brother and the Holding Company)
"Sally Go Round the Roses" by The Great Society
"Today" by Jefferson Airplane
"Embryonic Journey" by Jefferson Airplane
"Kiss of Fire" by Georgia Gibbs
"Cactus Tree" by Joni Mitchell
"Who Knows Where the Time Goes" by Judy Collins
"Town Without Pity" by Gene Pitney and Mandy Barnett
"Uncle John's Band" by The Grateful Dead
"Crimson & Clover" performed by Deadsy and Cher
"Freedom" by Richie Havens
"The Fish Cheer" by Country Joe McDonald
"I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die Rag" by Country Joe McDonald
"Subterranean Homesick Blues" by Bob Dylan
"White Bird" by It's a Beautiful Day
"Israelites" by Desmond Dekker
"When You're Smiling (The Whole World Smiles with You)" by Dean Martin
"Purple Haze" by Jimi Hendrix
"Follow" by Richie Havens
"Helplessly Hoping"; a cover of Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young by Taxiride
"Crystal Blue Persuasion" by Morcheeba
The movie received a generally favorable reception among critics. The Rotten Tomatoes website found that 72% of critics gave the film a positive review. Diane Lane's performance earned her an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Female Lead.
Entertainment Weekly ranked it #9 on their "50 Sexiest Movies Ever" poll, but The Washington Post found it "a little too perfect and symbolically signposted for its own good".
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