USA, summer of 1969. Man is about to walk on the moon, the Vietnam War is breaking out, and there is the great concert in Woodstock. In a holiday camp for Jewish families not far from Woodstock, Alison and her family are on vacation. Pearl, the mother is young and attractive, but defeated by life, having become pregnant on her first loving relationship, forgetting her dreams to devote herself to her children.
Marty, the father is absent because he is busily occupied working at a television repair business. One day a charming salesman arrives at the camp, selling clothes and knick-knacks. He lives an intense life of love and passion, culminating in an escape to Woodstock with Pearl, where events have a deep impact.
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.
About the Story
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.
A Walk on the Moon (1999)
Directed by: Tony Goldwyn
Starring: Diane Lane, Viggo Mortensen, Liev Schreiber, Anna Paquin, Tovah Feldshuh, Bobby Boriello, Julie Kavner, Lisa Bronwyn Moore, Victoria Barkoff, Tamar Kozlov
Screenplay by: Pamela Gray
Production Design by: Dan Leigh
Cinematography by: Anthony B. Richmond
Film Editing by: Dana Congdon
Costume Design by: Jess Goldstein
Art Direction by: Gilles Aird
Music by: Mason Daring
MPAA Rating: R for sexuality, language and some drug use.
Distributed by: Miramax Films
Release Date: April 2, 1999