Saturday, 20 February 2010

Moonlight Mile


Moonlight Mile; Tragicomedy, USA, 2002; D: Brad Silbering, S: Jake Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, Susan Sarandon, Ellen Pompeo, Holly Hunter

USA, '73. The young Joe wakes up from a dream and gets ready to attend the funeral of his girlfriend Diane, together with their parents Ben, a real estate seller, and Josephine, a writer. After the funeral, Ben and Josephine still tense, irritated by the sympathies of their friends but let Joe live with them. Also, they are preparing for the trial of Diane's murderer. Ben employs Joe as his business partner and intends to buy a bar at the corner. But Joe falls in love with Bertie, whose boyfriend disappeared in the Vietnam War. Josephine isn't happy about that when she finds out. Also, while on trial, Joe admits he already broke up with Diane before the incident. Ben forgives him and he leaves with Bertie.

"Moonlight Mile" starts in an extravagant way: someone is swimming in the sea while the hero Joe is walking on water, an image that already started to turn cliched in the movie world. Then Joe wakes up and follows the parents of his girlfriend to a ceremony of sorts - that turns out to be her funeral. Director Brad Silbering obviously showed interest for a serious comedy in order to make a shift from his previous calligraphy - "Casper" turned out confusing, despite a few clever ideas, while in "The City of Angels" he already started to become more serious and mature. However, here he also didn't manage to exploit the story to its maximum potential because the small dramatic details didn't become spectacular whereas as a whole "Mile" turned out mild and conventional. Still, he cleverly avoided the sentimentality: the parents of the deceased still manage to remain calm while the main tangle has humor ("What do the funerals mean?" - "Nothing!"), even though the second half is overstretched. Dustin Hoffman is again in top-notch shape and makes the film.

Grade:++

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