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La Moustache

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Editorial Reviews

One day, on a whim, Marc decides to shave off the mustache he’s worn all of his adult life. He waits patiently for his wife’s reaction, but neither she nor his friends seem to notice. Stranger still, when he finally tells them, they all insist he never had a mustache. Is Marc going mad? Is he the victim of some elaborate conspiracy? Or has something in the world’s order gone terribly awry?

"an intriguing study of identity, marriage and madness" – Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer

"La Moustache," the first feature by novelist Emmanuel Carrere, begins as a comedy, but grows darker and darker by the frame. It's like a Hitchcock thriller filtered through the mind of Austrian firebrand Michael Haneke, who gave us Caché (Hidden)." – V.A. Musetto, New York Post

Special Features

  • Making of featurette
  • Interview with director Emmanuel Carrère and editor Camille Cotte
  • Theatrical trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Vincent Lindon, Emmanuelle Devos, Mathieu Amalric, Hippolyte Girardot, Cylia Malki
  • Directors: Emmanuel Carrère
  • Writers: Emmanuel Carrère, Jérôme Beaujour
  • Producers: Anne-Dominique Toussaint, Elliot Tong, Romain Le Grand
  • Format: Color, Dolby, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Koch Lorber Films
  • DVD Release Date: January 16, 2007
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000JLTS3K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,350 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "La Moustache" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

A man shaves off his moustache and no one notices.
This makes no sense as then we must question if any of the movie was real or an idealized representation by Marc.
Double Espresso in Decaf Town
I watched the film to the end hoping that something will happen which will ultimately make it worth watching.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Kendra on January 9, 2008
Format: DVD
This is an absolutely incredible film. Just wonderful.

I read the book a couple of years ago and recently re-read it. As I looked it up, I found a film had been made-- I didn't know about it-- so I immediately purchased a copy.

If you haven't read the book, you must. And, this time, reading the book first is probably a good choice.

I'm baffled that some seem to think the ending was unclear. I think it was very clear. However, I don't want to include any spoilers here. It's exactly as it seems to be. Exactly. So, if you're confused and looking for a hidden meaning, you won't find one. It's exactly as the main character understands it to be at the very end.

The movie starts out with Marc asking his wife, Agnes, if he should shave his mustache. He does, and she doesn't notice. As a matter of fact, nobody notices. When he confronts his wife and friends, they insist that he has not had a mustache for at least 15 years. Obviously, somebody is either lying or going crazy. He is suspicious of his wife and friends for quite a while, but then begins to believe that they are indeed telling the truth, and he is somewhat removed from reality. Again, however, he starts distrusting his wife, since strangers recognize his mustache in older pictures.

Who is telling the truth? Who is insane? The film begins with us clearly seeing Marc's mustache. We also clearly see the hairs he trims, the hairs he washes away in the tub, and the hairs he washes away in his shaving tray. We watch him complete his entire shaving ritual-- first using shaving scissors, then an old-fashioned razor. We see everything through Marc's eyes. We meet his Serge and his wife. We hear Agnes talk about going to Marc's parents for lunch. What is real and what isn't?
Read more ›
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Robin Simmons VINE VOICE on January 14, 2007
Format: DVD
A man shaves his "moustache" and his his wife -- or are they lovers? -- insists he never had one. And then things get really strange. Is someone messing with his mind? Or vice versa?

Up to the end, I loved this funny (at first) and finally disturbing French film that slyly forces you to shift the paradigm you think you're in.

How fragile our shimmering realities if some little thing fractures our bubble.

How ephemeral our identities that are held together by nothing more than fleeting reflections of self.

If you're fond of French films like Caché and Lemming, this one is a tasty treat up to a point.

But be warned that no matter how glued you might be to the unfolding Hitchcockian twists, the final ending is a HUGE, FRUSTRATING DISAPPOINTMENT. In fact, it made me angry to be so unsatisfied. There's such a thing too much trimming and editing to achieve some kind of minimalist existential French ambiance. The end of a movie should not leave the viewer scratching his head and muttering "Quoi?"
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Westley VINE VOICE on August 9, 2009
Format: DVD
"La Moustache" is a trippy French flick by director Emmanuel Carrere, which he adapted from his novel of the same name. The film opens with Marc, a middle-aged Parisian, bathing and playfully asking his wife whether he should shave off his mustache. They joke that she wouldn't be able to recognize him, as he's had a mustache his entire adult life. Marc goes along with the joke and impulsively shaves; however, instead of being shocked, his wife doesn't notice. He assumes that she's playing a joke, but she apparently isn't. Things become stranger still when his friends and co-workers fail to notice the demise of the titular mustache as well.

Only a French film could sustain this rather silly premise for nearly 90 minutes, although the mustache is merely the trigger for what follows. The film's initial light comedic banter slowly changes to a tense, brooding tone as Marc starts to act erratically - all stemming from the mustache incident. I was amused and intrigued throughout the film, although some viewers undoubtedly will find "La Moustache" boring depending on their tolerance level for semi-pretentious French films. One could interpret the plot in a number of ways. Marc might have gone mad, or the film might be an examination of how two people can never really know each other or about the disparity between how we view ourselves and how others views us. At the end, I had no idea what the film was "about" or what the film "meant," but I was entertained enough not to care.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By R. Schultz VINE VOICE on June 17, 2007
Format: DVD
The cover of this DVD misleads when it likens its drama to Hitchcock's work. There is actually nothing approaching a Hitchcock level of suspense here. However, the viewer is kept intellectually guessing, ping-ponging back and forth at least through the first part of the film, wondering, "Did the man have a moustache, or didn't he? Is he gaslighting his wife, or is she gaslighting him?"

Like the French language itself, there are so many letters of explanation in this film that don't get pronounced, but that inform the pronunciation of other letters in the words. Director Emmanuel Carrere refers to "ghosts" whose presence is felt, trailing the characters' lives. However again, none of this rises to the level of suspense.

Most of the value of this movie lies in its view of a marriage. This is an adult relationship, different from the kind we see in most American films where one spouse (usually the woman) is shown as mere adjunct to the man's answering call to action. Here both partners are given gravity and tenderness and extension.

Actor Vincent Lindon is especially good at showing a longing bafflement. He doesn't undermine his performance by distancing himself from his character as many Americans might when called upon to play a man who isn't conforming to all gender stereotypes. Here Lindon is unflinching as a man who is not interested in football and who gets lost, almost waif-like, in what might be the complexities of his own imagining.

There's a good director/producer commentary on this DVD, pointing out the ground from which some of the film's mists arise. But this isn't the movie for anyone who demands clear plot or resolution. In fact, the film is almost gratuitously devoid of explanations. But you might feel invited to fill in the tantalizing blanks yourself, to suit your own view.
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