Home Movie Reviews ‘The Moon Is Upside Down’ – Review
‘The Moon Is Upside Down’ – Review

‘The Moon Is Upside Down’ – Review


The New Zealand cinema industry is on a roll at the moment with some fantastic film and television work coming to screens, and one of the more intriguing and thought-provoking releases to arrive on screen is actress-turned-director Loren Taylor’s The Moon Is Upside Down.

Three women – a duped mail-order bride, a numbed anaesthetist determined to have a romantic weekend, and an empty nester on an unexpected mission of mercy – each navigates her way through an unfamiliar landscape and the contours of the human heart.

Filled with a massive sense of drama and a very quick wit, The Moon Is Upside Down is an utterly surprising watch thanks to actress-turned-director Loren Taylor, who plays with audiences’ expectations right from the start. This film is filled with plenty of surprises and solid twists you won’t see coming. With three interwoven narratives of three women moving through new times, challenges and experiences in their lives, The Moon Is Upside Down plays with both drama and comedy for an arthouse film experience that takes you on a journey from A to . And its ending will leave you pondering its layered themes and character motifs.

From the start, it was clear that The Moon Is Upside Down is driven fundamentally by Taylor’s clear narrative vision, and she knew what kind of story she wanted to tell right from the start. A search for connection is a key theme explored in the picture, and each of our three characters – mail-order bride Natalia (Victoria Haralabidou), desperate romantic Briar (Loren Taylor) and empty nester Faith (Elizabeth Hawthorne) – are all at a crossroads in their lives and seeking some kind of reciprocation of love. Their journeys are heartfelt and entirely human, and all are prone to the vast multitudes that make up the human experience. Taylor’s attention to their character arcs is a touching tribute to her cast and the strength of presence on screen.

As a cinematic experience, The Moon Is Upside Down makes for an unexpected watch, and its dramedy setting will keep you guessing at all moments. In some moments, you’ll find yourself laughing out loud due to some very funny, and at some times, flat-out inappropriate humourous moments, while the next moment, you’ll find yourself overcome with emotion and sadness due to some of the film’s startling and shocking revelations. All of the moments in The Moon Is Upside Down make for a cinema experience that keeps you guessing at every moment, and this is a film that leads to the most unexpected moments.

The Moon Is Upside Down is a calling card from a bold new directorial voice in New Zealand cinema in the form of Loren Taylor, and for audiences seeking something different, this is a fascinating watch.

Image: New Zealand Film Commission