A music video director in search of less annoying characters (and, for that matter, less annoying music). It's not that Dolan lacks style or ambition. It's wisdom that's the question mark: Mommy is effective in a gut-punch sort of way, but it's also the sort of film that makes you resent its effectiveness. Which means it may be too late for him to be his generation's Welles, but Von Trier is still on the table.
I Killed My Mother 2.0 - the turbulent relationship between mother and son is there, but in a way what pushed them apart in Dolan's first effort, is what keep them together here. The annoyance of 1:1 ratio slowly fades as the cinematography perfectly converges with the soundtrack (which I don't recall the last time Dido, Oasis or Lana Del Rey songs were used so well to capture the right feeling without sounding fake)
I adore LA. This has the same hyper-stylized aesthetic and overbearing pop soundtrack, but lame in comparison. While LA was an an emotional, erratic whirlwind where music and slickness actually made you FEEL the ever-mutating relationships, this glassy facade of predictability and cheese-induced sequences (the longboard-ing gestures of "opening up", shopping cart wrestling matches) was eye-rolling. Also, the break
Not my favourite film from Dolan, but probably the one that resonated with me the most on an emotional level. It started out too loud (reminded me of "I Killed My Mother"), but then it kept growing on me, and, by the end, I was honestly rooting for these three characters. Clément's Kyla could have been better explored in my opinion. Overall, it was a nice ride and the "unexpected" soundtrack felt kind of nice too.
One more exercise in hysteria from one of the most overrated contemporary filmmakers, if we exclude all others who, like this, specialized in the punishment of human: Reygadas, Haneke, Seidl, Von Trier. From the start this cinematic misery, with its random focus and blur, with its slow motion for style and its unbearable incessant jukebox showed why and what for was coming:for nothing, making too much noise for such.
Mommy is in many ways the culmination of Dolan's writing/directing/editing talents. The three characters at the heart of this film are all so captivating, so well-rounded, and so human. I got sucked into their world. The dialogue is characteristically naturalistic and the images are beautiful. It's a film that put me through the emotional ringer - laughter, pain, and, yes, even a few tears. Il faut le voir tabarnak!
The growth in the work of young Dolan is staggering in his five features over the last six years. This picture, richly deserving its Cannes accolades, is his best to date revisiting the themes of his first feature. Scripting is dynamite richly brought to life by its three leads especially the magnificent Anne Dorval. Cinematography by Turpin adds to the pedigree. Dolan takes a lot of flack critically without cause.
Frenetic in energy, audacious in tone and backed by a pummeling soundtrack Mommy tackles the difficult subject of violent and uncontrollable children from a loving mother's perspective. The performances are superb, particularly bogan mum who swings pendulum-like from love to helplessness. Relationships are tricky, and family is even trickier. It could have easily lost 30 mins in the edit. 3.5 stars