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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>
If you haven't seen "Shoot the Moon", see it. It is very difficult to find, as it appears to be out of print. To a degree, it reminds me of "The Pumpkin Eater" (Eng., 1964), with Anne Bancroft and Peter Finch. Both films deal with bad marriages, in which the husband cheats. Also, the husbands in both films are writers (Peter Finch plays a screenwriter, Albert Finney plays a novelist), and the wives are very supportive, up to a point. However, comparisons seems to end at this point, as "Shoot the Moon" really portrays the emotional stages of divorce and its effects on the entire family and others in their environs whereas "The Pumpkin Eater" focuses mostly on the character of Jo Armitage, played by Anne Bancroft, and her proclivity to have children and find most of her self-worth in raising children.
Diane Keaton and Albert Finney play the husband and wife in "Shoot the Moon", and they are both absolutely superb in their roles. Ditto for Dana Hill, the actress playing their oldest child (very tragically, this very talented actress died in 1996 due to complications from diabetes). This film is so realistic, and the acting, all the way around, is so natural. Diane Keaton's scene singing in the bathtub is particularly moving, as is the scene in which Albert Finney wants to give his eldest daughter her birthday present. This whole latter scene was portrayed very realistically....no sugar-coating here, and for that, I applaud Parker and the cast. Keaton's scene with Peter Weller (who plays Frank) on their first "date" was also very realistic and low-key, considering the emotions her character Faith is going through, just re-entering the "dating" scene since her husband left her. Faith's announcement of her knowledge of her husband's affair, to her husband, in the middle of talking about running out of orange juice, was also so realistic. This screenplay was simply very well written all the way around. I might not agree with the ending entirely; but, it was a story option that was plausibly pursued.
On a few other notes, the soundtrack offers a nice throwback to the '70's (Bob Segar, etc.). Also watch for a young Tracey Gold, who would later star in "Growing Pains" and a younger Tina Yothers, who would later star in "Family Ties". I highly recommend this film....a very good story and great acting together provide for a thoroughly enjoyable cinematic experience. In retrospect, it was sorely overlooked on Oscar night.
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