The Man In The Moon

The underrated and neglected Robert Mulligan (To Kill a Mockingbird, Inside Daisy Clover, Summer of ’42, Clara’s Heart) may be one of the only American directors left with a fully achieved style that is commonly (if misleadingly) termed classical. Indeed, he is a master of carving out dramatic space with liquid camera movements and precise angles, a mastery that’s matched by a special sensitivity in handling adolescents. These qualities are fully apparent in this tender treatment of the romantic heartbreak experienced by a 14-year-old girl (Reese Witherspoon) in rural Louisiana during the 50s, although Mulligan is less than ideally served by a script (by Jenny Wingfield) that at times borders on the obvious and simplistic. The heroine is infatuated with the 17-year-old boy (Jason London) who runs a neighboring farm, but he’s more interested in her older sister (Emily Warfield). Mulligan does a fine job both with the nonprofessionals playing the kids and with Sam Waterston, Tess Harper, and Gail Strickland as their parents (1991). (JR)

This entry was posted in Featured Texts. Bookmark the permalink.