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Moonlight Mile

Dustin Hoffman , Susan Sarandon , Brad Silberling    PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Gyllenhaal shines-- again. June 7 2004
Format:DVD
Moonlight Mile (Brad Silberling, 2002)
Brad Silberling has had a rather long and completely undistinguished Hollywood career. Aside from helming City of Angels, one of the most useless remakes of all time, he did a lot of TV work. Two words: Cop Rock.
Thus, Moonlight Mile came as something of a surprise; Silberling's first truly good flick. Much of this has to do with the amazing cast. How on earth Silberling, who also wrote the autobiographical script, managed to sign such incredible talent on the strength of his previous career is utterly beyond me. But then, stranger things have happened.
Joe Nast (the brilliant Jake Gyllenhaal, fresh off cult-favorites Donnie Darko and Bubble Boy) is living with the parents of his fiancee after her murder in a diner shooting (she was an innocent bystander). Her parents, Ben (Dustin Hoffman) and Jojo (Susan Sarandon) are understandably devastated, and latch onto Joe as something of a replacement kid. Joe is desperately confused about everything. Until, that is, he meets Bertie (Ellen Pompeo, recently found in Daredevil, unfortunately for her) and finds himself deeply attracted to her. Meanwhile, he's being taken on as a partner in Ben's commercial property business, which is trying to buy a bar at which Bertie moonlights, in order to pave the way for a big development envisioned by the movie's evil overlord, Mulcahey (Dabney Coleman). The parents have brought a civil suit against the shooter, and have a parasitic attorney (Holly Hunter) who's looking to make a name for herself with this case. And Joe's also holding onto his own secrets, which could send them all spinning out of control.
Everyone, and I mean everyone, in this film gives a top-notch performance.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Is there life after grief? June 2 2004
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I saw this film and the more recent "Monster" on the same afternoon so I will be comparing the two films here, though they may have little in common: The first thing which struck me about "Moonlight Mile" was the soundtrack which is unusually good--so good it may make you forget about the plot. In any case, it will orient you towards the mid-70's. The second thing that was noteworthy is that while the film included a tragic event, the accidental death of Diana, the final outcome was positive and so the film was not a tragedy, unlike some other Hollywood films I have seen recently. The major theme of the film is an upper middle class family dealing with grief. Certain details and memories such as Diana's Italian stick-it notes on the furniture make Diana almost a living presence in this film. Because he meets Bertie, the postal clerk and barmaid who has not seen her Vietnam soldier boyfriend in three years, and whose favorite song is the title track, Joe raises himself out of his tragic situation and finds that he can go forward with his life with some hope of a positive outcome. He also raises the film out of tragedy.

Not so with "Monster", which becomes increasingly gruesome as the story progresses. Still tragedy can be entertaining, at least the Greeks thought so, and so did Shakespeare. Aileen or Lee is presented as an incredibly gauche, ill-mannered, foulmouthed, violent-tempered, overweight, and unattractive prostitute from a bad background who makes a lot of poor choices and who increasingly leads a life of violence, thankfully sparing her lesbian friend all responsibility for her actions in taped interview. Aileen has promised her friend a better life, but what she becomes is an unwitting accomplice in a downward spiral of violence.
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Format:DVD
After Brad Silberling had finished making City of Angels with Nicholas Cage, his fiancé was murdered by a maniac for no reason. Silberling ended up bonding with her parents and it is this experience that has brought to the screen for Moonlight Drive.
The story is exceptionally well done. The dialogue is sublime. The acting is on top form with all involved. It does have its faults but when all is said and done this is actually a very enjoyable little drama. The situation is simple. Jake Gyllenhaal, playing Joe Nast, is staying at the home of his dead fiancé's parents - Dustin Hoffman, playing Ben Floss, a real estate businessman, and Susan Sarandon, playing Jojo Floss, Ben's wife and a novelist with writer's block who are trying hard to come to terms with their child's murder and a looming trial that is about to cause them a great deal of stress, as their lawyer - Holly Hunter, playing Mona Camp, constantly informs them. Joe is given errands to run for Ben in the small local town and soon befriends a girl who works in the post office and who has a strange background. Joe has a dark secret that he is afraid to tell the Floss's. Ben thinks he may have been somehow responsible for his child's death. He is trying to start a business with Joe in town to try and deal with his grief but a broken window nearly drives him around the bend. JoJo suspects that there is something wrong with Joe but does not know what. JoJo is torn between these worlds and does not know what to do. The trial date looms as the family try to hold themselves together.
The drama is really in the deep conversations and funny moments that the film brings, however it does drift into sentimentality too often and certainly the love subplot needs a little polishing and some loose ends are never really fixed.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Miles Above A Typical Melodrama
Director Brad Silberling brings a refreshing look at the drama of losing someone you care about, offering a deep, intense, moving and credible movie. Read more
Published on Feb. 4 2004 by gonn1000
4.0 out of 5 stars Miles Above A Typical Melodrama
Director Brad Silberling brings a refreshing look at the drama of losing someone you care about, offering a deep, intense, moving and credible movie. Read more
Published on Feb. 4 2004 by gonn1000
5.0 out of 5 stars Miles deep in the heart
Moonlight Mile is one of the best films of 2002. It's fantastic script teeters on the edge of humor and heartache through out. Read more
Published on Oct. 22 2003 by Porter
5.0 out of 5 stars There is no standard grief response
I just finished watching this movie and loved it - was very moved. First off, to get the obvious out of the way, the soundtrack is fabulous and the dog is great. Read more
Published on June 22 2003 by L. Silverstone
5.0 out of 5 stars A hidden Treasure!!!
I thought it was brilliant, quirky and wonderful. It has a very unique slant on a terrible tragedy, and a nice little love story woven into it. Read more
Published on June 12 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit slow, but rewarding in the end
My fiance and I rented this movie a couple nights ago, but were forced by impending sleep to turn it off about 45 minutes in. Read more
Published on June 3 2003 by Wheelchair Assassin
2.0 out of 5 stars yikes! what happened here?
okay, you'd think with big name actors (sarandon, hoffman) a movie would be better...but it's not. hoffman gets the over-acting lifetime achievement award anyway, but in this... Read more
Published on May 24 2003 by M. Allen
3.0 out of 5 stars Just Misses the Mark
"Moonlight Mile" has many terrific elements, which makes it so frustrating that it isn't better. First, the cast (Susan Sarandon, Jake Gyllenhall, & Dustin Hoffman) is truly... Read more
Published on May 17 2003 by Westley
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple, poetic, honest storytelling
This film's most compelling qualities are its simplicity and its honesty. I also feel that the early 70s setting has a certain appropriateness in its similarity of feel to other... Read more
Published on May 4 2003
2.0 out of 5 stars Great acting in a piecemeal story
Dustin Hoffman, Susan Sarandon and newcomer Jake Gyllenhaal did a wonderful job acting. But, even that couldn't carry this movie. Read more
Published on April 26 2003 by atmj
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