Moonlight Mile (2002)
Jake Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, Susan Sarandon, Ellen
Pompeo, Holly Hunter
A young man (Gyllenhaal) lingers
in the family home of his fiancée after her death.
While grieving along with her parents (Hoffman, Sarandon) and drawn into legal issues presented by a district
attorney seeking justice for the family, he finds himself
falling in love with another woman (Pompeo) against his
own best intentions.
1998’s City of Angels, Brad Silberling directed one
episode a piece on Felicity and Judging Amy. Three
years later he comes out with a writing/directing credit on
Moonlight Mile, a worthy and heartfelt drama.
takes place sometime in the past, but its subject matter is not
restricted to a timeframe. It is the subject matter, or rather
the drama of the story, that makes this film so great. The
success of the film really comes from Jake
extraordinary and low-key performance as Joe Nast, the main
character modeled after Brad Silberling’s own experiences as a
young adult. Supporting
are Dustin Hoffman and Susan Sarandon as his fiancée’s
inseparable, yet conflicted parents Ben and JoJo. It is equally
important to note newcomer Ellen Pompeo as the woman who
befriends Joe. The interaction of their romance and Joe’s
responsibility to Ben and JoJo is the conflict that drives the
drama in Moonlight Mile.
Silberling’s writing and directing seem perfect, yet some
elements within the story moved a little too slow. Despite the
overall slow pace of the film, Moonlight Mile succeeds to
accentuate and realize a family’s time of dealing with the death
of a loved one and life after the tragedy. Great performances
and a great script are two basic ingredients to a successful
drama, both of which Brad Silberling accomplished to a very good
degree. In other words, Moonlight Mile is a very good
film that appreciates life but offers an incredible look at what
happens during the time of death. Its outcome might be
fictional, but its intention is very real and close to home.
8 out of 10
Sara M. Fetters' Film Review!
is very concentrated on preserving the colors of the story’s
timeframe. Set sometime in the 1980s I’d assume, much of the
colors consist of yellow, brown, and red. Color detail is pretty
good and much of the video is devoid of scratches or dark spots.
8 out of 10
there is a very good film that doesn’t rely on its audio
presentation yet it is outfitted with Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Sound. Not much can be said about the quality per se, but I will
say that the experience while watching the film was neither
impacted nor deterred by the Dolby Digital track. The film
simply does not have the kind of material to make much use of
such a track, but the presentation served pretty decent.
out of 10
by Brad Silberling / Brad Silberling, Dustin Hoffman and Jake
Gyllenhaal – These two separate commentaries are worth checking
out. In fact, the second one is pure fun. These three guys talk
you through the film so well that you wish you could be there
with them laughing, complimenting each other, etc.
Scenes w/ optional Director’s Commentary – Almost all of these
scenes are rightfully out of the film. Apart from Silberling’s
well-made comments, you can deduct yourself why these got cut. I
don’t mean to say the scenes aren’t any good, but they wouldn’t
have worked in conjunction to the final product. Especially
gracious of Silberling is the “Moonlight Mile Montage” of
shots that just didn’t make it into the film anywhere.
Mile: A Journey To Screen” Featurette – Here you have a
20-minute interview-driven behind-the-scenes look at the film.
It’s worth checking out once at least, but after about ten
minutes I just fast-forwarded through the rest. Nevertheless,
this featurette was well written, narrated, and produced.
here is the Theatrical Trailer, but we do get English and
8 out of 10
is one of the year’s most emotional and well-made films. Fueled
by great performances from the entire cast, a stellar script,
decent video and audio transfers, and a set of deserving special
features, including a really good commentary, this DVD is worthy
to consider "buying." If drama is not your area then I'd at
least "strongly consider" renting the DVD.
Overall DVD Rating: 8 out of 10