A Walk on the Moon

Director: Tony Goldwyn

Institute History

  • 1999 Sundance Film Festival


Tony Goldwyn’s A Walk on the Moon is a wonderfully realized, nostalgic (if you are as old as I am) melodrama set during the summer of 1969. It is a time of change across America—sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll—and a historic year in the space program, but not everything is in upheaval. Pearl Katrowitz, a thirty-year-old Brooklyn housewife (Diane Lane), is spending the summer, as she has for the last decade, at Dr. Fleigel’s Bungalow Colony in the Catskills. Along with her daughter, son, and mother-in-law, she waits dutifully for her husband’s
weekend visits, commuting from his job in New York City.
The insularity of the camp is interrupted only by calls from traveling salesmen: the “ice cream man,” “the knish man,” or “the dress man.” On one of these occasions, Pearl meets “the blouse man,” Walker (Viggo Mortensen). Both hip and sexy, he is at first just casually friendly. But it rapidly becomes evident that the undercurrent of sexual tension won’t disappear, and the steamy love affair that ensues changes the lives of everyone involved.
With a tone that is romantic yet very
authentic, Goldwyn creates a charmingly comic but intense love story that interweaves coming of age for Pearl’s newly adolescent daughter with Pearl’s own trek toward self-realization. Against the backdrop of Woodstock, and with Lane’s complex, yet compelling, sexuality, Goldwyn’s storytelling avoids the era’s easy clichés to offer a memorable and satisfying look back at the time when change was in the air.

Tony Goldwyn, Director
A Walk on the Moon marks Tony Goldwyn's directorial debut. His acting credits include such films as Kiss the Girls, The Substance of Fire, Nixon, The Pelican Brief, and Ghost, as well as many plays on the New York stage. He will next appear in Oliver Stone’s Any Given Sunday with Al Pacino. Future directing projects include Imagining Nathan by Bo Goldwyn for Universal and Georgia Rule by Mark Andrus for Fox 2000.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]