This is true to life in the sense that many children of alcoholics end up parenting their parents. Not easy to watch but worth it because of the end and the acting is great, the periods of silence just watching either the son or the mother give the feeling of what life is for these two people.
Although Minervini's form isn't anything remarkable, I really like his blend of narrative/contemplative fiction, with the merging of documentary style. This is much more contemplative than his latest. The ending is wonderful. The real thing that attracts me is that he makes you feel, and draws me in to characters who I might often trash, but makes you feel the human side.
It seems here that Minervini is not so much directing as he is observing. Nothing feels forced in this authentic, powerful, and respectful portrait of poor Gulf Coast life. The scenery is incredible, as is the cinematography. We are silently, subtly brought along, in documentary fashion, on the boy's emotional journey sans destination, and what a touching experience it is.
Hard and tender; soft and dry-as-a-bone. Minervini's cinema connects, but does not qualify. He uses animals like Herzog but there are no boats hauled over mountains, nor even dreams of boats being hauled over mountains. The only respite from economic and emotional/ spiritual impoverishment is the tactile world. The boy was a lot stronger than I was at that age and my life was so full.
A quiet film full of space and silence. Its attentive camera captures the tone and texture of a young boy's loneliness. Empty days punctuated by playing with wild animals, skimming stones, or collecting cans. It's a very beautiful film too, and it feels all the more sad for that beauty. The naturalness and subtlety of the acting, particularly the boy, is impressive.
Absorbing drama: in constant psychological tension from the boy's obedience/reciprocity to his mother's apathy (she perceives him as a trivial past event of which she is at liberty to abandon). Particularly poignant when set against the sadistic experiments of Harry Harlow. The affect on the boy of the dysfunctional environment seems slightly rushed, lacking nuance. Otherwise great.