Tuesday, March 29, 2011

FORGOTTEN MOVIES, SHOOT THE MOON



Talk about an opening scene that perfectly sets up what's at stake.

I have always been interested in films about the dissolution of a marriage. In fact, we just watched the mediocre 5x2 last week (although it had a great soundtrack). I guess no one will top Bergman's SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE, but this one comes close. From IMDB, it looks like it never earned back its cost so I am going to assume it is largely forgotten.

SHOOT THE MOON, written by Bo Goldman and directed by Alan Parker, examines the extremely painful ending of a marriage. Diane Keaton, in what may be her finest role, plays the wife; Albert Finney, the husband. They have four children that are caught in the middle of this maelstrom. Keaton must care for the kids (it's 1982 after all) and Finney concentrates on his career and mistress (Karen Allen). Eventually Keaton finds solace too.

SHOOT THE MOON captures the anger, hurt, and betrayal of the end of a marriage very well.
It won't cheer you up but you'll be impressed by it, I think. On a particularly sad note, Dana Hill, who played the most memorable of their daughters, died at age 32 of diabetes. I just learned that on researching the film. I remember her well.

MORE FORGOTTEN MOVIES WILL APPEAR AT SWEET FREEDOM (Todd Mason)

29 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Patti - I'd heard of this movie, but never seen it. I should probably try to find it, as it's often those forgotten movies that are better than today's blockbusters....

Jersey Jack said...

I can't watch Kramer vs. Kramer. Maybe I should stay away from this one, too.

Anonymous said...

I was going to mention that about Dana Hill, a talented actress who only had a short time.

I remember seeing this when it first came out.

Not my favorite movie by any standards (I haven't seen it since that first time, but remember disliking the end) but I agree it was a wonderful role for Keaton.

I bet you could make a pretty good list of "dissolution of a marriage" movies.

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Equally as sad as K v K. And four kids instead of one.
TWO FOR THE ROAD is another good one.

Anonymous said...

TWO FOR THE ROAD is one of our top 5 favorite movies. But they don't split up in the end of that one.

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I didn't remember that. Haven't seen it in 25 years minimum.

David Cranmer said...

I haven't seen this film since the 1980s but remember it being quite depressing and, of course, quite good. Keaton was on a roll back then wasn't she?

kitty said...

My daughter and I watched "Shoot the Moon" on HBO back in the 80s and hated the father for cheating on his wife like that. We talked about how it affected the daughters. I taped it and occasionally we'd pop it in the VCR.

As for other forgotten movies...

The Last of Sheila (1973)

Why Shoot the Teacher? (1977)

Hounds of Notre Dame (1980)

Author! Author! (1982)

Garbo Talks (1984)

The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984)

pattinase (abbott) said...

Great list, Kitty. I saw almost all of them and each was very good. THE LAST OF SHEILA was so much fun.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Those were her days. Ever see SEARCHING FOR MR. GOODBAR?

kitty said...

Yes, I saw "Mr. Goodbar" -- another depressing movie. I think my favorite Keaton movie is "Something's Gotta Give."

Anonymous said...

THE LAST OF SHEILA was written by Stephen Sondheim and Tony Perkins, for those who don't know it. They won the Edgar Award for Best Screenplay.

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Tony Perkins-that is surprising.
You know I didn't like SOMETHING'S the first time I saw it. But I saw it on TV last year and liked it a lot more. Funny how a movie can grow on you.

Todd Mason said...

Well, Kitty, you want to join in on the weekly Overlooked Movies postings? Bill Crider actually did THE LAST OF SHEILA a few weeks back for one of his...

Meanwhile, SHOOT THE MOON is one of the many films I've meant to see, but haven't caught at the right time nor purchased, rented nor downloaded yet...

Todd Mason said...

Anthony Perkins loved his disturbing roles as much as he was typecast for them...he never seemed comfortable in the likes of FEAR STRIKES OUT...

George said...

I've always considered WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINA WOLFE? the top movie in this catagory.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Virginia Woolfe is certainly the most painful. I saw it done as a play a few years ago at Stratford and it was just devastating to watch in person.
Only downside, the actress playing the Sandy Dennis part mimicked her so closely, it was distracting. I hate it when actors do that. Create your own character!
The exception might be when you are stepping in temporarily in a play.

MP said...

This movie is incredible. I haven't seen it in probably 20 years, but I'll never forget the scene with Keaton sitting in the bathtub smoking a joint and singing The Beatles' "If I Fell". The movie is just crushingly sad, and if you've never seen it be prepared for that.

Anonymous said...

MP, I think that was the most memorable scene in the film.

Jeff M.

Of course, now that we're going to get Disney's version of Miss Marple as a 36 year old American (Jennifer Garner) [ISIANMTU] all bets are off.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Still hoping that's a joke!

Erik Donald France said...

Oh, excellent! Must see . . . seems like there were several really good marriage/relationship breakup (and/or weirdness -- John Cassavetes) films from the mid-70s to this one. I'm into it.

Anonymous said...

Someone suggested WAR OF THE ROSES.

What about (I know they weren't married) ANNIE HALL?

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I need to see War of the Roses again.
And A Woman Under the Influence from Cassavetes.

Deb said...

I saw it when it first came out--haven't seen it since because I found it well-acted but depressing. And I really disliked Karen Allen's character--telling the girls (her step-children, I suppose) that sex was like ice cream. Blech!

As for VIRGINIA WOOLF--yes, a great play and movie (no one could do "dowdy" like Liz), but the marriage doesn't actually disintergrate, although it certainly is dysfunctional.

Anita Page said...

I just added "Shoot the Moon" to my Netflix queue.

Re: "Scenes from a Marriage," I also liked "Saraband," the follow-up Bergman did in 2003 with the original leads. The additional material includes a documentary of Bergman at work on the film --very exciting to be able to listen to him talk about his art and watch him working with actors, and actually getting down on the floor at one point (he was in his eighties then) to show a young actress what he wanted her to do.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Oh, yes, Sarabande was fine too. Nothing will ever top SCENES though.

Paul D. Brazill said...

I've never made it through this. It always seemed a bit drab to me, though I am a big Bert Finn fan. Doesn't it rain a lot in the film? I remember annoying kids in it,too. though not as annoying as the kid in Kramer vs Kramer. How much better that film would have been if Kramer from Sienfield was in it.

John said...

I was so devastated by the brutality exhibited in the violent ending that I was frozen in my seat and literally shaking. I was in college at the time. One of my artist friends had to come over and console me and we walked back to the campus together. I was in a near catatonic state.

I always think of this as the CLOCKWORK ORANGE of broken marriage movies. That was another movie that deeply affected me at a young age.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have never seen it. Someone scared me off of seeing it as a teenager and I just never have.