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The Man Who Bought the Moon
Paolo Zucca, Italy, 2018, 102m
Italian with English subtitles
A Sardinian fisherman has promised the moon to the woman he loves. And Sardinian men always keep their promises! Two government agents discover that an anonymous Sardinian resident has laid claim to Earth’s natural satellite. Immediately, word spreads through diplomatic channels in a series of grave phone calls. Deciding that this lunatic must be found, Italy tracks down a Special Forces agent named Kevin Pirelli who is secretly a Sardinian native, hiding behind a fake Milanese name and dyed blond hair. To complete his mission, he is trained to blend into society by Badore, a grizzled, hilariously deadpan taskmaster, who instills stereotypical provincial attitudes in the sweet, agreeable Pirelli, such as intense stubbornness and irascibility. Once on the island, a freshly bearded Pirelli finally discovers the moon-owner and the poignant reason behind his otherworldly investment, leading to a loony, fantastically visualized confrontation between government forces and the moon itself. In the end, Zucca’s film is more about riffing on stereotypes of his home island than on sci-fi, adding an emotional dimension to balance the slapstick silliness of this terrific comedy.