I Killed My Mother Screen 5 articles

I Killed My Mother

2009

I Killed My Mother Poster
  • Dolan has Jenny Lumet's rare talent for cannily transplanting to paper how people use language as ammunition—how words ricochet during squabbles in unpredictable ways and reveal the best and worst in us all. But I Killed My Mother is a film best heard than seen, as the earnest, nimble scrubbiness of Dolan's screenplay is ill-served by his conceited visuals, an aesthetic mode that feels insecurely borrowed from perfume commercials and the work of Jean-Luc Godard and Wong Kar-Wai.

  • While Mia Madre explores how families, like films, can be defined by an auteur (be it mother or daughter), this subtext is muted. Resultingly, there’s a strange divide in tonality between serious and silly (often portrayed by Turturro’s buffoon of a character) that Moretti never solves. Still, Buy’s performance reservedly confronts a scary and insecure psychological place, slightly elevating the film beyond the realm of mediocre arthouse drama.

  • No literal murder takes place in this energetic character piece, but the relationship between mother (Anne Dorval, superb) and son seethes with enough mutual acrimony, complicated by fleeting bursts of real tenderness, that it’s a wonder neither one of them keels over from sheer exhaustion...

  • The film follows these wild leaps from devotion to disdain with its own erratic swings in tone, and does such a good job of establishing irritating quirks at the outset that it can summon up and explain the shift from understanding to irritation with light-switch immediacy.

  • Dolan masterfully negotiates the travails of learning to navigate those emotions, reconciling ourselves as best we can to the people we hate and love. Dolan's film is visually intricate (alternating between warmly-lit tableaux and cinema vérité black-and-white footage) and droll, while being emotionally affecting. Quite frankly, this is one of the best directorial debuts I've seen in quite some time...

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