Overview: A widowed single mother, raising her violent son alone, finds new hope when a mysterious neighbor inserts herself into their household. 2014; Roadside Attractions; Rated R; 138 Minutes.
Winning: I won tickets to see this movie, which is good for two reasons. One was that I never win anything, and two is that if I had paid to see this movie I would have slit my own throat.
Mommy is the story of Die, a widow with a hyperactive delinquent delinquent son, Steve. The movie is all about their fraught relationship and how they seem to constantly have conversations that they need to scream in each other’s faces. If you like watching unlikable characters have pointless arguments then this is the movie for you, and you are also a sociopath.
It is also the story of Kyla, the neighbour of Die and Steve who is on sabbatical from being a teacher because of stress that caused her to lose the ability to speak. Her story, a tale of quiet desperation and failure, is excellent, so obviously it is constantly ignored in favour of such scenes as a montage with unearned emotion set to the stirring strains of Oasis’s “Wonderwall.”
Hate: There is so much to dislike about this movie. Its opening text, which essentially spoils the movie by signposting the ending, begins with the words “In a fictional Canada…” The knowledge that I wasn’t watching some terribly loud documentary but actually a work of fiction was very helpful, because it was the first movie I had ever seen and I was unsure of the difference between reality and fantasy. Those words made whatever hope I had for a good movie experience die a quick but agonising death.
The opening text also makes a point of saying the movie is set in 2015, but if you told me it was made in 1990 I would have believed you. The soundtrack features such modern artists as Counting Crows, Celine Dion, the aforementioned Oasis, Dido, and Eiffel 65. Everyone dresses like an asshole and has a flip phone. Maybe it’s a hipster thing. Who knows?
Like: Oddly, the one scene I did enjoy, and the scene that reignited my hope that the film was going to get better, was a kitchen dance set to Celine Dion. That one scene gave me hope before the rest of the film held a pillow firmly upon my hope’s face until it stopped flailing it’s arms and embraced the cold twilight of death.
Also, the movie had about nine endings. There is a scene late in the movie that would have made a fine ending, but instead the movie continues for twenty more minutes and contains scenes of mental health professionals that would have been more suited to something made in the 40s (I mean really, do people still get put in straitjackets?)
Overall: Mommy is pointless and loud and not worth watching at all. For some reason, people are raving about this movie and hailing it as a classic, but I just can’t see it.