Moonstruck (1987)

Director: Norman Jewison
Writer: John Patrick Shanley
Cast: Cher, Nicolas Cage, Vincent Gardenia, Olympia Dukakis, Danny Aiello, Julie Bovasso, John Mahoney, Louis Guss
Seen on: 30.12.2017

Loretta (Cher) is a bookkeeper who lives with her parents (Vincent Gardenia, Olympia Dukakis). Her boyfriend Johnny (Danny Aiello) is slightly boring, but definitely dependable. And he just proposed to Loretta. Loretta agrees to marry him but insists on following the old traditions because she is sure that her first husband died because they didn’t stick to traditions. Johnny agrees, but has to leave to go to Sicily to tend to his dying mother. In the meantime, he asks Loretta to see his brother Ronnie (Nicolas Cage) and invite him to the wedding. Loretta does so and finds a passionate, hot-headed man who turns all her plans upside down.

I can imagine that Moonstruck came across as charming when it came out, but I don’t think it aged very well. I didn’t get into it in any case.

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Re-Watch: Alive (1993)

Director: Frank Marshall
Writer: John Patrick Shanley
Based on: Piers Paul Read‘s book Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors
Cast: Ethan HawkeVincent SpanoJosh HamiltonBruce RamsayJohn NewtonDavid KriegelKevin BreznahanIlleana Douglas, Josh Lucas
Seen on: 6.1.2015

A Uruguayan rugby team is on its way to Chile for a game. But as they fly over the Andes, their plane is experiencing trouble and they crash. Those who are not killed instantly face intense cold, hunger and still have to deal with the injured. As more and more time passes, it becomes increasingly less likely that a rescue mission can find them – they will have to save themselves.

I saw Alive when I was a kid and I was deeply impressed by it and the story back then. So I wanted to revisit it 20 years later to see if it still holds up to scrutiny. The result is rather mixed.

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Doubt (2008)

Doubt is the adaptation of the Pulitzer Price winning play by John Patrick Shanley, who wrote the screenplay and directed the movie as well. It stars Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Viola Davis.

St. Nicholas is a catholic church and school. They have the first black student in 1964, who gets singled out by the priest, Father Brendan [Philip Seymour Hoffman], for special attention. After some incidents, a young nun, Sister James [Amy Adams], raises the suspicion that Father Brendan might be abusing the boy. Her superior, Sister Aloysius [Meryl Streep], starts a private war against the priest, trying to prove that he’s guilty.

Doubt has an exceptional screenplay with brilliant casting, showing a battle of wits between Father Brendan and Sister Aloysius that is a feast to watch. Unfortunately, the directing can’t keep up with the standards the writing and acting sets.


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