MONA LISA AND THE BLOOD MOON is a new fantasy, mystery, and thriller that works amazingly well. Also, it has an all-star cast which definitely doesn’t hurt either. Read our full Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon movie review here!
MONA LISA AND THE BLOOD MOON is a movie that mixes genres and has a great cast with familiar faces in even smaller roles. It’s difficult to really do this film justice without spoiling too much. However, spoiling anything would really be doing the film a huge injustice.
This movie is both a thriller, fantasy, and mystery. The plot is simple, the characters tend to act in very human ways – for better and worse. Also, don’t judge anyone by their appearance. That is definitely one important lesson here. Another amazing movie from the already iconic filmmaker Ana Lily Amirpour.
Continue reading our Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon movie review below.
You get what you give
The very simple version of the plot is “A girl with unusual powers escapes from a mental asylum and tries to make it on her own in New Orleans” and that’s perfect. The actual movie is experiencing how the world reacts to her – and vice versa.
The people you expect to help her, might not be the people who actually do. However, that has more to do with our (the audience’s) expectations, since the girl in this movie has no idea who she can – or should – trust. In a very innocent way, she simply reacts to the energy people are giving her.
If they’re nice to her, then she’s nice to them. When they help her, she’s quick to help them right back. And if they hurt her… well, you don’t want to hurt her. But if you do, expect to get that hurt right back. And then some!
If you enjoyed the (in my humble opinion) brilliant Everything, Everywhere All at Once then this should be for you. Not in terms of storyline, mind you, but in regards to the fast-paced style and quirky, but often lovable, characters.
Several unexpected – but great – performances
The star of Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon is, of course, the title character of “Mona Lisa”. She’s portrayed by Jeon Jong-seo who delivers a very strong performance that evolves naturally as she’s finding her place in the world.
You might recognize Jeon Jong-seo from movies such as Burning (2018) or the Netflix horror movie The Call (2020). Both are absolutely amazing movies in their own right, though they are nothing alike. Her role in this new movie is sometimes reminiscent of her performance in The Call, but only briefly.
Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon is only the third feature film for Jeon Jong-seo, and she is simply amazing. Apart from her all-important character, Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon has some amazing supporting characters. Very quirky and often played by familiar actors as unfamiliar kinds of characters.
DON’T MISS OUT ON
Kate Hudson plays the exotic dancer, Bonnie, who is also a very skilled hustler. Ed Skrein (Deadpool) is a drug dealer who seems to live by the same rule as Mona Lisa; If people are good to you, be good to them. Also, he’s all kinds of weird but mostly in a good way.
Also, Craig Robinson plays a cop, who gets acquainted with Mona Lisa very early on and becomes downright obsessed with catching her.
Finally, I have to mention the young Evan Whitten. He plays the young son of Bonnie (Kate Hudson) who is very much left to his own devices and becomes fast friends with Mona Lisa. Evan Whitten (Penny Dreadful: City of Angels) gives a performance that is both heartbreaking and uplifting. We expect great things from him in the future!
Watch Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon when you can!
For me, Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon is definitely another homerun for filmmaker Ana Lily Amirpour. She’s the director and writer of this movie, and if you don’t know her name (you should!), then you’ll hopefully recognize the titles of projects she’s worked on previously.
Ana Lily Amirpour previously wrote and directed the 2014 vampire movie A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. Also, for horror fans, her name has shown up when she directed episodes of TV series such as Castle Rock, The Twilight Zone, and the upcoming Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities.
Where A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night was more slow-burn and shot in black and white, Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon is fast-paced and full of color. It should please most genre fans. I was definitely very happy with it – even though, yes, it’s much lighter than her previous film. But there’s room for both kinds.
Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon is out in theaters, On Digital, and On Demand on September 30, 2022.
Director: Ana Lily Amirpour
Cast: Kate Hudson, Jun Jong Seo, Craig Robinson, Ed Skrein, Evan Whitten
When a struggling single-mother (Hudson) befriends a mysterious mental institute escapee with supernatural powers (Jong Seo), she sees a lucrative opportunity to make some fast cash. But when they draw the attention of a detective (Craig Robinson), their luck starts to run out as the cops close in on their crime-spree.