Although his work is uneven, he has always been a serious and sincere artist - both in the early days of the partnership with Alan J. Nothing else he has done, however, approaches the purity and perfection of “The Man in the Moon.” As the film approached its conclusion without having stepped wrong once, I wondered whether he could do it - whether he could maintain the poetic, bittersweet tone, and avoid the sentimentalism and cheap emotion that could have destroyed this story. You will receive a weekly newsletter full of movie-related tidbits, articles, trailers, even the occasional streamable movie.
Their intimate moments together - talking about boys, about growing up - have a special intimacy.
But the silences and the hurt body language of some of their later scenes speak of an intimacy betrayed, and are even more special.
Maybe it is the direction, by Robert Mulligan, whose long career includes another fine movie about a young girl, “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Or maybe it is because everyone involved with the film knew that the script, by Jenny Wingfield, was not going to sell out at the end, was not going to contrive an artificial ending, or go for false sentiment, or do anything other that exactly what the material cries out for.
There are some complications surrounding that “perfect” kiss.
It flows so smoothly from start to finish that it hardly even seems like an ordinary film. Although, in retrospect, I can see how carefully the plot was put together, how meticulously each event was prepared for, as I watched the film I was only aware of life passing by.