The Man in the Moon
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The Man in the Moon
In its elegiac nostalgia for the days of childhood innocence, Robert Mulligan's The Man in the Moon recalls another of Mulligan's earlier films, To Kill A Mockingbird. Set in a Louisiana backwater town in the 1950s, the film chronicles the coming-of-age of a young teenage girl. Dani (Reese Witherspoon) is a fourteen-year-old girl who shares a room with her seventeen-year-old sister Maureen (Emily Warfield). During hot summer nights, they sleep on the screened-in back porch of their home, talking about romance, the future, and the meaning of life. Moving into the house next door is a… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Newcomer Witherspoon manages to strike exactly the right note as the tomboy on the verge of womanhood while Waterston works on several levels at once."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
""The Man in the Moon" is a wonderful movie, but it is more than that, it is a victory of tone and mood. It is like a poem."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Beautifully filmed, with Mulligan's special gifts for depicting country life and the South."
‑ Michael E. Grost, Classic Film and Television
""a drama that lingers on in the memory""
‑ James Sanford, Kalamazoo Gazette
"A touching, sweet-natured coming-of-age story set in a more innocent time, "The Man in the Moon" boasts sensitive direction and superb performances, even when the script occasionally falters."
‑ Chris Hicks, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"The heart-warming tone steadily becomes overheated."
‑ Derek Adams, Time Out
""The Man in the Moon" is an intimate, sentimental coming-of-age drama, a sweet little puppy love movie crushed by the enormity of its tragic twists."
‑ Rita Kempley, Washington Post
"Tender and touching film about two sisters whose close relationship is tested by the joy of love and the pain of grief."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"Self-contained in its own simplicity"
‑ Shane Burridge,
"This cast is a knock-out. As the parents, veterans Sam Waterston, Tess Harper and Gail Strickland lead these novice teen actors in setting standards that these young performers will spend the rest of their careers trying to emulate."
‑ Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle
"Gets an outstandingly natural performance out of Miss Witherspoon, who has no trouble carrying a lot of the film single-handedly. It falls to her to remind the audience that this story is at heart about a family, and she does."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"Mulligan uses a delicate touch in revealing the confusion in growing up and the loss in discovering that the world isn't as simple or perfect as children believe it to be."
‑ Mark Pfeiffer, (Ohio)
""The Man in the Moon" doesn't break anything, but it does know a thing or two about first love and friendship. A small gem."
‑ Kevin N. Laforest, Montreal Film Journal
"Robert Mulligan directs this story with all the sensitivity he can muster. And sensitivity is certainly what the plot needs, since it is perilously close to being a trashy Southern passions sort of melodrama."
‑ Mark R. Leeper,
More reviews for The Man in the Moon on Rotten Tomatoes