Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon
Director: Ana Lily Amirpour Run Time: 106 min. Format: DCP Release Year: 2022
Starring: Craig Robinson, Ed Skrein, Evan Whitten, Jeon Jong-seo, Kate Hudson
The Late Show: Premiere Run
A young woman with strange psychic powers, who has been locked away in a mental institution and unresponsive for a dozen years, suddenly wakes up with dire consequences. Jeon Jong-seo (Burning) plays Mona Lisa who has the ability to use other people’s bodies like a puppeteer while their helpless minds remain terrifyingly awake. After escaping the abusive confines of the hospital, Mona Lisa loses herself in the unquiet night of a New Orleans full moon where she meets a curious drug dealer named Fuzz (Skrein) and a stripper who definitely does not have a heart of gold (Hudson). These three lives, as well as that of the stripper’s young son, become entwined as the police (lead by Craig Robinson playing it surprisingly straight) try to capture Mona Lisa. A colorful, neon-drenched ode to 80s teenage adventure films, Amirpour’s latest is a characteristic mash-up of genres which is given a visual boost from up-and-coming cinematographer Pawel Pogorzelski (Tragedy Girls, Midsommar, Nobody). It plays something like Harmony Korine’s Firestarter—but it’s also surprisingly sweet when the dysfunctional family unit comes together.
“Amirpour’s punchy follow-up to The Bad Batch entwines threads of horror, thriller, fantasy, comedy and drama to stitch together a trippy tapestry of New Orleans’ French District.” – Kathy Michelle Chacón, Paste Magazine