Moonlight and Valentino

Anyone who has personally felt the lost of a loved one should be touched by this analysis of adjustment and friendship. Elizabeth Perkins tops a cast that includes Kathleen Turner, Whoopi Goldberg, Gwyneth Paltrow and (are you ready?) Jon Bon Jovi as the housepainter with pizza and buns. Perkins steals the show hands down with a performance that is perfection.

This lady's chameleon-like ability keeps on amazing; she's changed her look again (and I don't just mean make-up) including a physical presence that is different from anything she's done before. It takes a minute or two before registering that this really is Ms. Perkins. Her flawless performance as the newly widowed teacher in a state of shock and confusion trying to deal with daily routines reasserts her already recognized talents and foreshadows what the future holds in store. One her hardly wait to see her placed in a role truly powerful enough to let her show her stuff.

Ellen Simon's screenplay based upon her stage play based upon her own real life experience is touching and well-crafted enough to demand a lot from Perkins, but Perkins performance is so perfect it displays a wider capacity than the script has. Still, don't get me wrong, the script is good. Director David Anspaugh has intelligently sculptured the whole so that the audience is appropriately moved to tears on more than one occasion, but the most exciting aspect of the entire film still remains Perkins' performance. Goldberg, Turner, and Paltrow deserve praise for perfection. In fact, the only thing about the entire film that disturbed me was the "tidiness" of wrapping up in the last scene and the choice of music that rushes in after the last line of dialogue. Maybe another end?

In any case, superb points for Elizabeth Perkins, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kathleen Turner, and Whoopi Goldberg. We love you, girls.

© 1994-2006 The Green Hartnett