It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
"Claire of the Moon" is a painfully serious film about a woman's reluctant approach to lesbianism - the kind of movie that might have been made on the subject in the 1950s, about a love that was only beginning to dare speak its name. The screenplay is largely made up of earnest speeches in which the characters talk about their ideas.
This is a legitimate approach, and George Bernard Shaw made a career out of it. But he had wit.
The movie takes place at a rustic women writer's retreat, where Claire Jabrowski (Trisha Todd) is assigned to the same cabin with Dr. Noel Benedict (Karen Trumbo). Claire is a writer of comedy and satire; Noel is an authority on sexuality and pornography. The women aren't comfortable with each other at first, perhaps because of their different personal styles, because because Claire senses a deeper divide between herself and the serious doctor.
The retreat is run like a summer camp, but one we never get a clear visual idea of, because of the movie's almost claustrophobic attention to Claire and Noel. Rap sessions are held in the evenings, presided over by a jolly older woman named Maggie (Faith McDevitt), who cheerfully acknowledges her lesbianism. Once the subject is on the table, Noel reveals that she shares the same sexual orientation, and Claire is nonplussed.