CHINA MOON is a poor mystery but a good mood piece by director
John Bailey. It reminds you of a sultry melodrama from the 50s, but
rather than being a caricature, it is a fresh portrait. It is easy to
go with the flow of this picture and really enjoy it. It never taxes
your brain, but it does put you in the mood of the story.
The real reason to see CHINA MOON, however, has nothing to do with
this "mood thing". Go see it if you like movies with two very sensuous
leads a la BODY HEAT but better. Madeleine Stowe and Ed Harris light
up the screen. The romance is better than the last show (BLINK) that
Stowe was in although I must admit BLINK was better overall because its
Just watching Stowe before she speaks is a joy. Reminds me of
Shakespeare's "She speaks, yet she says nothing; what of that?". When
she delivers her words, her intonation of each seems to roll off her
tongue. An excellent actress I hope to see in many more roles. Ed
Harris, whom I do not remember seeing in a romantic part before, is her
equal. He is living proof that life does not end in your 20s or 30s.
The script by Roy Carlson will present a problem for many viewers.
It is easy to listen to the dialog and think this is pretentious and
kind of ridiculous. Alternatively, you can view it as, well, poetic.
I am in the latter category. The nighttime cinematography (Willy
Kurant) is impressive. Made me want to wait for dark and for a lake to
see if it was really that lovely and dreamy.
The studio has had this movie on the shelf for a while. The
copyright was 1991. I read that only after BLINK did so well, did they
dust it off.
CHINA MOON runs an easy 1:33. It is rated R, but I think it is
fine for teenagers. I recommend this to you and award it ***. If you
have a romantic or a poetic side, I especially recommend it to you.
Copyright © 1995 Steve Rhodes