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Usually I am aware of the screenwriter putting in obligatory scenes. Of the performances, it is enough to say that each one creates a character that could not be improved on.Tess Harper and Sam Waterston are convincing parents here; they aren’t simply stick figures in a plot, used only to move events along, but people we believe could really have raised these girls.

They fight at first, but then they make up and become friends. The moment is perfect, too, but there is an even better one, when she tells him, “I want to know what your hopes are.” This isn’t just a movie about teenage romance, it’s a movie about idealism - about how we idealize what and who we love - and a movie about the meaning of life.

Now something happens in the story that I cannot tell. And then the magnificent concluding passages of this film are about how deeply one can be hurt, how hard it is to forgive, how impossible it is to share the deepest feelings.“The Man in the Moon” is like a great short story, one of those masterpieces of language and mood where not one word is wrong, or unnecessary.

It flows so smoothly from start to finish that it hardly even seems like an ordinary film. Although, in retrospect, I can see how carefully the plot was put together, how meticulously each event was prepared for, as I watched the film I was only aware of life passing by.

There is a moment when Waterson hugs his youngest girl, and the way it arrives and the way it plays are heartbreakingly touching.

There is a moment when Harper intuits something about her older girl, and the way she acts on her intuition is so tactful we feel she is giving the girl a lesson on how to be a mother.