This is the best family drama that I have ever seen.
Mommy had me feeling the same level of emotion that I felt for the Spike Jonze’s Her but in a completely different way. I was shocked, sympathetic and also very saddened by the time the credits started to appear which was all credit to the fantastic writing and direction by Xavier Dolan. I wish the film was so much bigger than it is because it’s only typically known in the country where it originated from, Canada.
But nevertheless, Mommy is a masterpiece. It comes so close to being a masterpiece in so many ways because I could continue to list how amazing all of the performances were as well as the music and the cinematography. Everything about this film was an exceptional achievement and for a film that comes in at a lengthy 138 minutes of runtime, it was never boring at all.
I mentioned that this film dealt with a family drama but I don’t really want to give much more information than that because going into this not knowing much will only add to your experience in a great way. What I will say is that it primarily revolves around just three lead actors, all of whom are fantastic in their roles. I doubt if they had cast others that I would have loved this film as much as I did because they were just so believable and unique in the roles that without them, Mommy simply wouldn’t have worked. You simply couldn’t do it any other way and I’m glad Xavier Dolan chose them specifically.
The film is also shot in an unconventional form by using a handheld camera in a 1:1 aspect ratio and it’s unusual since most of what you’ll see in the cinema is done in 1.85:1 or 2.35:1. Some have said that it seems very pretentious because it might seem like it’s done to simply standout as an independent film, but even if it looks like those old silent Charlie Chaplain films, there’s a genuine narrative driven choice to use the chosen aspect ratio. And by watching the film, you’ll get exactly what I mean because when it does get revealed, it makes the use of such a format the most appropriate and best employment of such a technique I have seen in a film. It’s so fucking smart and great that I know this film had great direction.
Although I’ve only seen another one of his films, Tom at the Farm which was also great, I’m excited to see the rest of his filmography. Mommy might be his best work because the story is so amazing to watch unfold and I doubt anything he could do would top it, but I sincerely hope he does. There are so many different little things that happen in each scene of this movie that ultimately continue to set the bar higher as the runtime plays out. Like I said at the beginning of this review, this is the definitive peak of family drama that I have ever watched on film. Krisha is still high on such a list as I mentioned in my review of that film but the emotional connections Mommy installs are something of another nature.
I love this movie and it’s one of my all-time favorites so watch it if you can. Thank God it’s out on Netflix in the United States. See it.
That moment when the aspect ratio pays off is phenomenal. Absolutely loved this film and can’t wait to rewatch it.
We know. It’s amazing
I watched it last week and I’m glad you made me watch it, since I didn’t even hear of it before. It’s not as cheerful as I thought it will be. I knew a guy like this once, he was around all the time and it was hard in many ways to break free of him but that’s what I had to do. I hear that now he is an ultra neo hippie. Long live.
I have a question – you say that the reason for this special format (which I thought was my computer’s fault and tried to fix it for some minutes) is revealed in the course of the film but I must have missed it. Would you mind enlightening me?
Haha no it’s not very cheerful at all but it’s still great.
Well for the reading this comment, beware spoiler alert for the next few lines.
So the aspect ratio was much tighter, almost like a box or a cage that feels like is representing the life of the troubled protagonist. And there’s a moment when he uses his arms to push open the black bars on that frame around him that work to symbolise how in that moment he felt free from his unhappiness and this prison like state of mind. But then later those bars come in closer again and the aspect ratio returns.
Did you pick up on any of that?
😮 No! Thank you, will search for these scenes again. I watched on a pretty small screen (laptop but small).
No worries! Let us know if you pick it up 🙂