News From Planet Mars is an outwardly odd if quietly clever existential drama that trades in satire and biting black humour. François Damiens excels as Philippe Mars, a helpless man at the edge of a nervous breakdown, unable to comprehend the subtle but vast differences between the world of his parents, his current world that’s in a state of flux, and the world that awaits his children.
If the film is let down, it’s for the fact that Dominik Moll’s witty exploration into the ever-changing nature of the human condition occasionally overstretches for profundity when simple truths would have sufficed.
News From Planet Mars is a darkly comic existential drama about a crisis of identity; frequently amusing even if it fails to fulfil its aspirations.
CAST: Frauçois Damiens, Vincent Macaigne, Veerle Baetens, Jeanne Guittet, Tom Tivoire
DIRECTOR: Dominik Moll
WRITERS: Dominik Moll, Giles Marchand
SYNOPSIS: Philippe Mars (Damiens) is forced to to confront his existential inertia once an unstable man enters his and his children’s lives.
News From Planet Mars was reviewed as part of One Room With A View’s coverage of the 66th Berlinale Film Festival, which runs 11-21 February 2016.