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A fifteen year marriage dissolves, leaving both the husband and wife, and their four children, devastated. He's preoccupied with a career and a mistress, she with a career and caring for four young children. While they attempt to go their separate ways, jealousy and bitterness reconnect them. Written by
Philip Gilman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
SHOOT THE MOON is an unbelievably heartbreaking movie. I saw this as a kid, by myself, in my local theatre in 1982. I love movies - then and now - particularly adult-skewing films, even when I was 13. I don't know what I was thinking, but at 13 I wanted to experience everything... from RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK to REDS.
Like Alan Alda's serio-comic THE FOUR SEASONS the year before, this was an introduction to how complicated relationships could be in my future. I came from a happy family, and my parents are still happily together. But my reality is that I lived around this exact movie with my school-aged friends: parents' separations, divorces, the anger and the selfishness, and the confused kids caught in the middle.
The film captures the subtle reality of divorce and the demolition of a relationship through the screen writing of the legendary Bo Goldman and the beautiful direction by Alan Parker.
To this day, the combination still floors me as a viewer. Albert Finney and Diane Keaton have never been better, as a couple going through a separation, a divorce and yet a difficult familial uncoupling, and are perfect for this film. Their performances are stunning. Dana Hill as their child caught in the middle of this separation is phenomenal, that nails the confusion and conflict of forced-adaptation brings.
SHOOT THE MOON helped me understand at a very young age that this is how relationships collapse, and illustrated that people are imperfect. It showed that hubris, loneliness and expectation come with exceptional price-tags - it was a shocker at an early age.
This is one of the lost "great" movies of the 1980s, and I am glad it is on DVD. It's just a movie that is so difficult to embrace, but I am pleased that it exists. It is an amazing movie.
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