Williams, Lucy Fleming. Photo: Carol Rosegg
Postings To The Moon
By Fern Siegel
the simplest presentation is the most effective.
Postings To The Moon is a true story, set during World War II. It is tender,
occasionally funny and quietly hypnotic. And it’s all told via letters.
at 59E59 Theaters, Postings
To The Moon is an intimate love story between two remarkable Brits:
celebrated actress Celia Johnson and her writer/explorer husband Peter Fleming.
Separated during wartime, their marriage was sustained by a treasure trove of
extraordinary letters, written between 1942-1945.
letters, beautifully read by their daughter Lucy Fleming and her husband Simon
Williams, are carefully curated for maximum emotional punch. The duo has a
chemistry all their own, which makes this family affair even more touching.
cover a wide range of topics, from Peter’s intelligence work in India and Burma
to Celia’s film career. (Johnson is best known for her Oscar-nominated
performance in the movie Brief
Encounter. Peter Fleming, brother of James Bond creator Ian
Fleming, was a renowned travel writer. His Brazilian
Adventures are still in print.)
are tough. Rationing is a fact of British life. The Nazis are decimating
Europe. No one knows what the future holds.
binds the couple in this vortex of uncertainty is their correspondence, meticulously saved
so their children could appreciate a singular and personal moment in history.
an officer in the Grenadier Guards, stays in various European cities until a
permanent post arises in India, where he oversees military deception operations
in Southeast Asia. He battles the heat, difficult superiors and dangerous
details life on the home front — sharing a house with a sister, sister-in-law
and eight children, while enduring rationing and bomb scares. Celia is not only
pursuing a career as an actress on stage, radio and film, she’s also involved
with the Women’s Auxiliary Police at her Oxfordshire home.
she peppers her prose with joyful moments — surfing in Cornwall, working with
David Lean and Noel Coward. Credit her dry wit for supplying delightful
back-stage glimpses into British theater and films.
telling, despite perilous times, their literary exchange is devoid of any self-pity or
entitlement. Instead, it is punctuated with self-deprecating remarks that are
slyly humorous and endearing. Peter often refers to his wife as “Mrs. Flem,” and both write about “the
little sausage,” their pet name for son Nicolas.
makes Postings To The Moon
so memorable is their deep love for each other. It shines through on every
page. Letters can take weeks to arrive. Never has the British stiff upper lip
been tested with such unwavering resolve.
die on the battlefield; the blitzkrieg attacks London. Yet these two people, in
a time fraught with peril, soldier on. For 75 minutes, audiences are caught up in their lives. And, by
proxy, experience a time when a letter meant everything.
is self-aware and hopeful. This slyly humorous and genuinely compelling story
has us cheering for the Flemings.
Postings To The Moon, 59E59 Theaters, 59 E 59 St. New York, NY
June 2. Running Time: 75 Minutes