Indie Memphis 2018: ‘Shoot the Moon Right Between the Eyes’
With this month being Noirvember, it is understandable that filmgoers will be looking for a heist film. But Shoot the Moon Right Between the Eyes, which held it’s premier at the Indie Memphis Film Festival, is anything but a traditional heist film. While writing this flick, director Graham L. Carter spoke in a Q&A about how he was caught in a rut, until he had a character sing a song and from there it clicked. This Southern-fried film about conmen in Texas was injected with a healthy dose of country Western music giving it a brand new spin.
The film follows two aging conmen, Jerry and Carl, in a South Texas town where they plan on pulling a job which promises a hefty payday. During the set-up Jerry lays eyes on Maureen and is absolutely taken by her. He tries to convince Carl that he is only getting involved with Maureen to get her in on the job but in actuality he is falling hard for her. Naturally Carl is not happy about the fact that his partner is losing focus of the task at hand. While the drama between Jerry and Carl plays out with Maureen in the middle, a drunken private investigator is hot on the heels of the two thieves.
Right off the bat what many will notice about this film is that the characters are older than you typically see in movies, and that is the strength of Shoot the Moon Right Between the Eyes. You absolutely believe that these people have seen it all and then saw some more as Carl says in the local watering hole much of this film takes place in. As such their struggles hit you that much harder, especially with the relationship between Maureen and Jerry. Morgana Shaw’s performance in particular as Maureen is incredibly heartfelt and effortlessly draws in the audience to rooting for her. Of course being a musical, the music has to be good and thanks to musician John Prine it is. Given the southwestern setting and atmosphere of the film, his country-western style fits like a glove in this world and the people in it. No doubt people will be curious about a heist film which is also a musical, and rest assured Graham Carter nails the balance between the two perfectly and his charming cast carries Shoot the Moon beautifully.