Vera Farmiga and Mark Strong Sign on for CLOSER TO THE MOON

     August 9, 2011

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Vera Farmiga’s career has really taken off in recent years with the long-underrated actress seemingly appearing in a new movie every month varying from her Oscar-nominated work in Up In The Air to more schlocky fare like The Orphan.  Today Farmiga has signed for her latest role in the rather intriguing-sounding communist bank-robber drama (yep, that’s a genre now) Closer To The Moon. British character actor Mark Strong will play the lead role as a put upon bank robber forced to re-enact his crime for a propaganda film. It’s an incredibly strange, but undeniably interesting concept that could quickly become one of the biggest Romanian films of all time. We know that you’ve all been waiting for that, so today is a day of celebration. Hit the jump for further details.

According to Deadline, Farmiga and Strong have signed on to star in the latest film by Romanian director Nae Caranfil, who specializes in dark comedies that tend to tear up the festival circuit. Though respected in cinephile circles, Caranfil has yet to get much exposure in North America, which could quickly change with this project. The story sounds pretty compelling. Strong will star as Max Rosenthal, a former head of the criminal investigation unit in Bucharest on hard times who manages to rob a bank with four accomplices by assuring the surrounding crowds that they are only filming a movie. Inevitably, they are caught and harshly sentenced to death because they are Jewish (apparently, robbing a bank if you’re not Jewish is okay). However, before they are killed the Communist government actually forces the four men to re-enact their crime for a propaganda film. Farmiga will play Max’s former lover and mother of his child who returns from another country to watch the rather insane story unfold.

At the very least, there hasn’t been another movie quite like Closer To The Moon. If Caranfil can find the right balance between the comedy and drama inherent in the story (and given his previous work, that shouldn’t be a challenge), it could be a pretty fascinating film. The production is set to start shooting in the fall, so I’d imagine we won’t hear anything about it again for almost year as this is the type of movie made for the film festival circuit.

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