Moonstruck (1987, Cher, Nicolas Cage)



When Cher received an Oscar for her performance in Moonstruck, her acceptance speech was quick to praise her make-up artists and hair stylists. Unfortunately, she failed to mention director Norman Jewison, but maybe that’s because the veteran director had simply become Hollywood’s forgotten man. Still, the Canadian director of such classic 60s films as In The Heat Of The Night and The Thomas Crown Affair came back to prominence with this charming yet truthful romantic comedy.

Set in New York, the movie is about a superstitious late thirtysomething widow, Loretta Castorini (CHER), who finds herself engaged to the distinctly unremarkable Johnny Cammareri (DANNY AIELLO) but falling for his younger, far sparkier brother Ronny (NICOLAS CAGE). She has to choose between playing it safe and following her heart. The generation game is completed by Loretta’s long-suffering mother, Rose (OLYMPIA DUKAKIS, who won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance), as she tries to understand the motives compelling her philandering husband Cosmo (VINCENT GARDENIA) to stray. All of the film’s tensions are finally resolved in true Iti-American style: around the dinner table.

John Patrick Stanley was the movie’s third recipient of an Academy Award (Best Original Screenplay), and the critics were fulsome in praise of his mature script. ‘Moonstruck is a constant delight,’ Philip French wrote in The Observer. ‘There is a real truth in its recognition of the way the light-headed and the heavy-hearted go hand in hand. The acting is uniformly excellent, with Olympia Dukakis magnificent.’ The Mail On Sunday, meanwhile, highlighted Cher’s performance (‘a triumph’) and also added, ‘Moonlight certainly becomes this, the most beguiling comedy of sexual manners for ages.’ Finally, The Sunday Times called the movie ‘wistful, literate, insightful, slightly schmaltzy but often redeemably wry. This is high-quality entertainment.’

production details
USA | 102 minutes | 1987

Director: Norman Jewison
Script: John Patrick Shanley

Cher as Loretta Castorini
Nicolas Cage as Ronny Cammareri
Vincent Gardenia as Cosmo Castorini
Olympia Dukakis as Rose Castorini
Danny Aiello as John Cammareri
Julie Bovasso as Rita Cappomaggi
John Mahoney as Perry
Louis Guss as Raymond Capomaggi
Feodor Chaliapin Jr. as Alter Mann
Anita Gillette as Mona
Nada Despotovich as Chrissy
Cynthia Dale as Sheila
Frank Gio as Florist
Leonardo Cimino as Felix
Paula Trueman as Lucy
Robin Bartlett as Barbara
Helen Hanft as lotte
David S. Howard as Irv
Robert Weil as Bobo
Amy Aquino as Bonnie
Tony Azito as Conti
Ann McDonough as Nancy
John Christopher Jones as Lowell
Lisa Howard as Patricia
Martha Collins as Mimi
John Fanning as Rodolfo
Antonia Minella as Vesta
Nicholas Pasco as Eddie
Al Therrien as Bob
Lou Pitoscia as Mook
Gilberto Goday as Rocco
Louis Di Bianco as Jimmy
Michael Barbaro as Pietro
Antonio Pariselli as Franco
Mimi Lizio as Ruby
Tim Koetting as Al
Gerard Flannery as Harvey
Joe Grifasi as Shy Waiter
Gina DeAngeles as Old Crone
Betty Orsatti as Woman in Hair Salon
Tommy Hollis as Parking Attendant
Matt Myers as Cab Driver
Catherine Scorsese as Customer at Bakery

You may also be interested in...