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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 <email@example.com>
1982 was arguably one of the greatest film years in recent memory, with releases including "E.T.", "Gandhi," and "Sophie's Choice." Still, I would say that the best film of 1982 - and one of the best films of the 1980's - was "Shoot the Moon." I am not sure exactly why this film never got the acclaim it deserved...certainly there were many great films that year that overshadowed it. Moreover, it might have been too visceral for some...a couple I knew who were previously divorced from other people were extremely offended by the movie, and found it gratuitous.
I have only seen two films be successful in making the lead characters so likable in one scene, and then so unlikeable in the next scene. This is one of them (the other one is "Twice in a Lifetime"). Bo Goldman's screenplay is tremendous. Diane Keaton's rendition of "If I Fell" while soaking in the bathtub is one of the most haunting and powerful scenes I have ever seen. Also, the scene towards the end of the movie in the restaurant where Finney and Keaton are loudly arguing with each other to the annoyance of other patrons is extremely well done and enjoyable. I believe most of the scene is done in a long take. On regular TV, that scene is butchered due to the language, and they show cut-aways to other patrons to get away with that.
It's been more than 20 years since "Shoot the Moon" was released, and I'm not sure what I could say that would motivate someone to see this film for the first time. But it truly is great. Pauline Kael thought so too, and I'm sure she will carry much more weight with movie fans than me!
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