The Man in the Moon (1991)
Review/Film; A New Boy In Town Captures Her Heart
Everything about "The Man in the Moon," Robert Mulligan's effortlessly old-fashioned family drama set in a small Southern town, has a rosy glow. It's a reminder that Mr. Mulligan, a seasoned film maker whose credits include "To Kill a Mockingbird," "Summer of '42" and "The Other," can direct with real tenderness and without fake emotion. His latest film unfolds gently and gracefully, in a climate where the warmth isn't merely a matter of weather. Until its final reel, when it strains badly to accommodate an almost biblical stroke of retribution, "The Man in the Moon" is a small, fond film that achieves a kind of ...view middle of the document...
Once Court pays a visit to the girls' house and meets Maureen, the balance between the sisters shifts dramatically. The camera watches as Dani registers utter disbelief, never having thought twice about what might happen if her would-be beau met her pretty sister. In fact, the film closely observes such very small changes in its characters, and it lets them express their feelings in a decidedly down-to-earth way. "Maureen," asks Dani, "have you ever liked somebody so much that it almost made you sick?"
As written by Jenny Wingfield, "The Man in the Moon" -- which opens today at the Loews Fine Arts -- is simple, colorful and neatly constructed, with the occasional line of dialogue that sounds credible but still stands out. "I always knew the damn pipeline would kill him, only I thought it would be a little bit at a time," Court's mother (Gail Strickland) says of his absent father, and after that no further explanation is needed. Only when a plot impasse forces Ms. Wingfield into an event too wrenching for this film's fairly narrow emotional range does her screenplay falter. "The Man in the Moon" is much better equipped to deal with first love and family quarrels than with matters of life and death.
Especially good here, in a role that wouldn't seem to suit him, is Mr. Waterston, who makes a stern but touching figure. (When one of Maureen's dates assures her father, "Yes sir, you don't have a thing to worry about," Mr. Waterston's patriarch replies solemnly, "Then neither will you.") The film also finds the real fondness that keeps the girls' parents together no matter how harried they are.
And it has some cozy moments between Ms. Harper and Ms. Strickland, playing neighbors and girlhood friends. Mr. Mulligan also gets an outstandingly natural performance out of Miss Witherspoon, who has no trouble carrying a lot of the film single-handedly. It falls to her to remind the audience that this story is at heart about a family, and she does. That is why this film is worth watching.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - review
To Kill a Mockingbird is one of those books that almost everyone reads at some point in their lives. Whether you've been forced to read it at school, or you've had a look because everyone's been urging you to, most people have their own personal experience of reading Mockingbird.
The book is about Atticus Finch, who appears as an unconventional hero and role model due to his morality rather than his physical capabilities. The theme of morals is apparent throughout the whole novel, especially in relation to religion and perception of sin. Take Mrs Dubose, a recovering morphine addict: she vows that she'll die beholden to nothing and nobody. She's pursuing her own dream of being a free human being because she knows deep down that it's right.
To Kill a Mockingbird focuses on that gut instinct of right and wrong, and distinguishes it from just following the law. Even the titular quote: "Shoot all the blue jays you want, if...