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Brave-Heart

"MOMMY"--A FILM REVIEW

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Nothing annoys me more than walking out of a movie annoyed at the director and screenwriter and here I am, three hours later, still annoyed at the director and screenwriter of “Mommy”, both being Xavier Dolan who also edited it.

The basic story is interesting in that it deals with a mother whose son has been kicked out of a juvenile facility after causing a fire burning 75% of another boy’s skin. The mother, Diane, nicknames Die and played by Anne Dorval, has been a widow for 3 years and the son, Steve, played by Antoine Olivier Pilon, hasn’t accepted his father’s death and had been previously diagnosed with ADD and/or possibly also being bi-polar. They are both capable of moods swinging form high highs to low lows. One moment he can be choking her and the next moment kissing her on the lips while she can be as tender with him as any mother can be and in the next moment bashing him over the head with a framed picture.

Both the mother and son lean on their neighbor across the street who lives there with her boyfriend? Husband? And their young daughter. She, Kyla, played by Suzanne Clement, had been a high school teacher but due to something--a nervous breakdown?--has stopped teaching and she can barely talk in full sentences and stutters horribly except around the mother and son.

Both mother and son are foul mouth speakers along with being flirtatious whenever the opportunity arises or, sometimes, instigating sexual innuendos. The language, in some instances, is definitely R rated.

It is a good straight told story of a subject that isn’t often a theme for movies, mainly in the first half but then the director/screenwriter/editor enters the picture. I want to excuse him because he is 25 years old but this is his fifth picture so he should know better. The film is mostly in a 1 to 1 ratio so most of the time you feel as if you are looking at it on a large cell phone. The screen is widen a few times but only effective and noticeable the first time. There are one too many blurry collages not too mention choppy editing that I guess is suppose to be ’artistic’. Also the screenwriter leaves way too many questions unanswered that are an important part of the story.

Anne Dorval, Suzanne Clement and Antoine Olivier Pilon give excellent performances, especially the latter who has to handle showing all sides of a teenager with mental illness that changes him constantly.

Aside from running far too long--two hours and 20 minutes--I felt frustration at how Dolan was taking a good story line and getting excessive with the camera. I found myself going from being interested to being bored and back and forth all during the movie and, finally, leaving annoyed.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJw4ZZ_BWSU



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