Continuing on from the Criterion Shelf, The Classics Shelf is an ongoing retrospective of classic cinema produced monthly by writer Bil Antoniou and in collaboration with other writers in the That Shelf stable. This month’s theme is the 1982 Cannes Film Festival, and I contributed a review of the 1982 film Moonlighting, starring Jeremy Irons, which won the Best Screenplay award at the festival for writer-director Jerzy Skolimowski.

Moonlighting is a film about many things, but primarily about isolation. The men are isolated in the house they are remodelling, and Nowak is perhaps even more so as he is trapped not only with men who grow to resent him but also in a land where he speaks the language but doesn’t understand the people. It’s a masterful performance from Irons, performed almost silently and in voiceover. He’s able to convey the anxiety, despair, and paranoia that come with weaving a complex web of lies and deceit with body language and facial expressions. It’s an effective and affecting performance that the audience can’t help but get caught up in.