Another Good Punch
Two entries ago, I mentioned that the fine Australian film with the unprepossessing title Japanese Story packed an unexpected wallop. Another film that does the same thing is The Man in the Moon (1991), about a 14-year-old Louisiana farm girl who falls in love with her older's sister's boyfriend. It is a gem, partly because of Reese Witherspoon's superb performance as the younger sister (her first film role), and partly because of the sudden blow it delivers to the viewer's solar plexis.
What's striking about both films is the way they avoid telescoping the punch, and what's interesting to think about (if you are a plot junkie like me) is the fact that most movies do telescope their punches, to the great detriment of realism. Anyway, if you are looking for a good film to watch over Labor Day, The Man in the Moon is easy to find and well worth it.