4.9/10
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The Moth Diaries (2011)

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2:21 | Trailer
Rebecca is suspicious of Ernessa, the new arrival at her boarding school. But is Rebecca just jealous of Ernessa's bond with Lucie, or does the new girl truly possess a dark secret?

Director:

Mary Harron

Writers:

Rachel Klein (novel), Mary Harron (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sarah Bolger ... Rebecca
Anne Day-Jones Anne Day-Jones ... Rebecca's Mother
Sarah Gadon ... Lucy
Valerie Tian ... Charley
Melissa Farman ... Dora
Laurence Hamelin Laurence Hamelin ... Sofia
Kathleen Fee Kathleen Fee ... Miss Bobbie
Gia Sandhu ... Kiki
Lily Cole ... Ernessa
Judy Parfitt ... Mrs. Rood
Scott Speedman ... Mr. Davies
Julian Casey ... Rebecca's Father
Steffi Hagel Steffi Hagel ... Young Rebecca
Leif Anderson ... Policeman
Roxan Bourdelais Roxan Bourdelais ... Sofia's Boyfriend
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Storyline

Rebecca is suspicious of Ernessa, the new arrival at her boarding school. But is Rebecca just jealous of Ernessa's bond with Lucie, or does the new girl truly possess a dark secret?

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Every girl has her secrets.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some bloody images, sexuality, drug use and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

Canada | USA | Ireland

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 May 2012 (United Arab Emirates) See more »

Also Known As:

Internat See more »

Filming Locations:

Montréal, Québec, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,276, 22 April 2012

Gross USA:

$3,838

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$413,035
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The classical piece Ernessa plays on piano is Chopin's Nocturne no. 1. Lily Cole actually suggested a few different pieces to the director and chose this piece, which she had never heard before. See more »

Quotes

Rebecca: You're wrong. The good things I remember about my father - the walks we took, the fairy tales he read to me - they all really happened.
Ernessa: He read you other fairy tales that you forgot.
[singing]
Ernessa: # My mother, she butchered me. My father, he ate me. My sister, little Anne-Marie, she gathered up the bones of me, and tied them in a silken cloth to lay under the juniper. Tweet, tweet, what a pretty bird am I! #
See more »

Soundtracks

O God, Our Help In Ages Past
Written by Isaac Watts
Performed by the Cast
Published by Atlantic Screen Composers Ltd
(Administered by Cascanada SOCAN)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An excellent example of what filmmaking used to be...
22 July 2013 | by kevin-1272See all my reviews

I randomly selected and streamed this film last night on Netflix, enjoyed it, and checked today to see what others were saying about it. I was surprised to find harsh words about the film, and they made me wonder why people would react this way to a well-made story like this. The cinematography is lovely. The music is so well suited that it plays unnoticed beneath the visuals – never clashing with the emotional content of the scenes. The sound editing is top notch. The young actors are all excellent. Set design is spot on for the story. No dialog is wasted. Etc. etc.

So what was the problem? My personal reaction was quite good. When it started, I expected a bad film – another sappy story about girls at school. In fact, the only scene I didn't care for was the girls "partying" in their rooms. Such a cliché rendering. But the rest was endearing. The film seduced me, drawing me in further and further as I watched. It's not revolutionary, to be sure, but why does every film have to be revolutionary? We don't hold music to that type of criteria. "Oh, another blues song. That's been done…"

Harron's achievement here is in the mood of this piece. I see people complaining about the connecting scenes, and I think about how much they must hate a film like Upstream Color or Tree of Life or Melancholia (though those films are rated quite a bit higher). The Moth Diaries is not like those films because it has a much more grounded story.

Why are people down on this film? My best guess is that the negative reactions this film received are indicative of the altered nature of film itself. The Moth Diaries takes a different tack than contemporary blockbusters. It's not The Conjuring (a great horror film), which twists every few minutes and keeps throwing shocks at you, making you squirm in your seat. But it's not intended to be. It's not a shock piece. It is a mood piece, and Harron does a beautiful job of establishing a consistent mood throughout, a mood that captures appropriate emotional content for the age-rage of the characters in the story. Had this movie been released in the 1970s, it would have found a large, receptive audience. I, for one, found it refreshing to watch a film that takes its time building mood and environment and character.

The strength of the film is its subtlety. Unfortunately, it appears that subtlety is lost on many contemporary film goers. For me, The Moth Diaries returned me to the days when movies could be captivating and sensory without abandoning story in service to "art." I liked it and I'll be tracking Mary Harron's work from now on.


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