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A young man lingers in the family home of his fiancee, after her accidental death. While grieving along with her parents and drawn into legal issues presented by a district attorney seeking justice for the family, he finds himself falling in love with another woman, against his own best intentions. Written by
Eileen Peterson, unit publicist
While not quite a great movie (it just barely misses the mark), Moonlight Mile is still an excellent drama that showcases some of the finest acting talent around, wrapped amidst a beautifully told story of a young man (Jake Gyllenhaal) who's trying to do what everyone expects out of him, but against the desire of following his own heart.
Moonlight Mile plays as a cathartic experience. The premise bears truth to it, as it parallels writer/director Brad Siberling's own real-life experience when his girlfriend was murdered by an obsessive fan. But most importantly, almost every part of this movie feels natural in its emotions and storytelling, not the result of some sentimental hackjob put together by a big studio. Siberling's intent is to portray a normal family dealing with life, loss, and love and whatever obstacles may come their way and he does a fine job of it.
There are moments Moonlight Mile doesn't entirely ring true, but those moments are glossed over by the acting. From Gyllenhaal to Ellen Pompeo to Dustin Hoffman and Susan Sarandon, the cast is uniformly superb. Even though the climax is set in a courtroom (typically the setting for cliche hell in dramas), Gyllenhaal's emotional outpour makes the scene work almost magnificently.
An admittedly very irksome element of the film is the score, which is yet again another rip-off of the music to American Beauty. Moonlight Mile's straightforward, honest approach doesn't match the quirky tone of the score, resulting in a few off-kilter moments of balance. But otherwise, this is a first-rate, truthful drama, and certainly superior to the overrated and similary themed In the Bedroom.
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