Moonlight Mile Reviews
Directed by: Brad Silberling
Summary: Susan Sarandon and Dustin Hoffman co-star as the grieving mother and father of a recently deceased girl who take in their daughter's fiancé (Jake Gyllenhaal) because he's the only living connection they have to their only child. Problems arise when the young man falls in love with a woman (Ellen Pompeo) whose boyfriend has gone missing, prompting his former in-laws-to-be to come to grips with the new relationship.
My Thoughts: "The story pulled me in almost instantly. Great job by Gyllenhaal. His court room scene was very emotional. Sarandon and Hoffman both have their tear-jerker moments as well. Sarandon has this scene where she's sitting on her daughter's bed drinking as Gyllenhaal is climbing through the window, and she just breaks down and its just really sad. She's such an amazing actress. She always makes her characters feel real. Never seen Ellen Pompeo play such a big part in a film. I thought she was great in this. Just really good acting in this film. Although this is an emotional film, there is also quite of bit of humor throughout the film. The relationships between the three leads are honest, and realistic. This film has a great script with a great cast. Also the music in the movie is pretty great as well. Just a sad, honest, real, emotional, and funny film."
As he copes with the death of his fiancee along with her parents, a young man must figure out what he wants out of life.
Strong acted and character driven drama about the aftermath of a family's sudden and violent loss of their beloved adult daughter and the bonding between them and her fiancé (Gyllenhaal effectively conveying awkward grievance) in a small New England hamlet circa 1973. Before starring in a hit drama medical show, Ellen Pompeo gives a nicely nuanced performance as a potential love interest/soul mate-in-waiting he meets. Hoffman and Sarandon are especially effective in their muted emotions that frequently spring freely into painful turmoil. Written and directed by Brad Silberling loosely based on his own true-life account in the tragic murder of his fiancée actress Rebecca Schaeffer.
[font=Century Gothic]I did not realize at first that "Moonlight Mile" was set in the early 1970's which got me thinking about how cliche-free it is. It perfectly balances pathos with humor in showing the awkwardness surrounding the funeral and mourning of a loved one. (And despite it also being about the violent death of a grown child, it puts the unconscionable and incompetently made "In the Bedroom" to shame.) There is a perfect use of period music. The movie is well-filmed, often in natural light. And nobody can do awkward as well as Jake Gyllenhaal. This is the best role that Susan Sarandon has had in the past decade. Even with this great cast, Ellen Pompeo nearly runs off with the movie playing a winsome postmistress. [/font]
Unbeknownst to Ben and Jo Jo, Joe and Diana had broken up, but Ben is so determined to keep him a part of the family that Joe feels compelled to stay. He decides to remain in town living with her parents to help them deal with their shock and grief. They also have to deal with the murder trial of the gunman, whose wife and his intended target awakens from her coma just as the trial is about to start.
Joe struggles to move beyond the emotional and material expectations which his broken engagement has left him to fulfill, trying not to disappoint his would-be in-laws while at the same time wanting to embark on a new life and a new relationship with a woman he has recently met. Ellen Pompeo is also wonderful as Bertie, the mail clerk and part-time waitress who is no stranger to tragedy losing her own boyfriend as well. Her uncertainty about her future provides Joe some insight into his own psyche.
Holly Hunter's plays the tough, single-minded prosecutor prosecuting the man who is responsible for Diane's death who needs Joe's help to bring Diane's murderer to justice.