EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|SHOOT THE MOON (director: Alan Parker; screenwriter: Bo Goldman; cinematographer: Michael Seresin; editor: Gerry Hambling; cast: Albert Finney (George Dunlap), Diane Keaton (Faith Dunlap), Karen Allen (Sandy), Peter Weller (Frank Henderson), Dana Hill (Sherry Dunlap), Viveka Davis (Jill Dunlap), Tracey Gold (Marianne Dunlap), Tina Yothers (Molly Dunlap), George Murdock (French DeVoe), Irving Metzman (Howard Katz), Leora Dana (Charlotte DeVoe); Runtime: 124; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Alan Marshall; Warner Home Video; 1982)|
nothing much to the genre of family dramas."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Alan Parker ("Bugsy Malone"/"Fame"/"Mississippi
directs this highly-charged
bleak drama of a marriage breakup between an affluent couple. It's best
realized as an actor's pic, with Albert Finney walking away with the
acting honors and Diane Keating giving a richly enervating nuanced
performance. It's written in a superficially sophisticated way by Bo
Goldman, and adds nothing much to the genre of family dramas but a lot
of noise. By the end we witness a lot of messy fighting, but never
learn what makes the main characters act in such a hostile manner.
The Dunlaps have been married
for fifteen years, but their marriage is rocky and they now sleep in
separate rooms. George (Albert Finney) is an ambitious successful
writer. His resilient earth-mother suburban wife Faith (Diane Keaton)
is a housewife. The couple
have four daughters (the oldest is the 13-year-old Sherry) and live
together in a converted farmhouse in Marin County, California. An unhappy George begins an affair with
Allen), a divorcee with a small son of her own. Faith follows the lead of hubby and
begins an affair with the young contractor, Frank Henderson (Peter
Weller), building the family tennis court. George
has a problem with his wife's affair, but sees no problem with his
extra-curricular activity. His irrational behavior and violent
outbursts disturb his daughters.
The film's key scene is its
opening one, where the couple know the marriage is over but can't end
it in an amicable way. George is getting ready for an International
Book Awards dinner in San
Francisco, in which his wife accompanies him. At the awards banquet, George all but
ignores his wife. Things explode in
the ride home. In the morning, the adulterer is thrown out of the house
bags wifey has already packed. The rest of the film weighs the affects
of the splitup on both George and Faith, and the collateral damage it
causes for the children. The two new partners, Sandy and Frank, must
also weigh in on how the split affects them.
We learn little about the
characters inner motivations; we do not even learn what kind of books
George Dunlap writes (Does he
write fiction or non-fiction?). The
astute observations unmasked over this raging mess are too few to
justify having to endure such shrill entertainment.
REVIEWED ON 6/11/2011 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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