Film review

Moonlight Mile

OPENS FEBRUARY 21, CERT 15, 117 MINS

Troubled young man dujour Jake Gyllenhaal again excels in this finely-wrought tragi-comedy. His largely reactive role's similar to that played by Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate, and, in a neat touch, Hoffman plays his father figure here.

Set in New England in the '70s, and taking its title from a Stones song (the soundtrack features Dylan, Van, Bowie et al), Brad Silberling's film has the feel of a more rock'n'roll Ordinary People or The Ice Storm. Joe (Gyllenhaal)'s fiancée has killed herself: like her parents (Hoffman and Susan Sarandon), Joe is distraught, but only he knows that the relationship was floundering. Staying at his almost-parents-in-laws' house, he tries to act properly, but the dad smothers him and the mum hits the bottle. When Joe takes up with a local girl (Ellen Pompeo, a name to watch), the uneasy alliance between the three mourners is tested, the emphasis being that emotions don't follow rules. With crisp, heartbreaking performances from Hoffman and Sarandon, and a wicked comic tone, this drama goes the extra mile.

Rating: 4 / 10


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