• James Rutherford

‘Mommy’: The Provocative Tale of a Mother's Desperate Struggle to Care for Her Troubled Son


Movie poster for the Canadian film Mommy starring Anne Dorval and Antoine Olivier Pilon

“Mommy” (2014) is an unconventional and dynamic French Canadian drama starring Anne Dorval as Diane 'Die' Després, a middle-aged widow struggling to care for her unstable son Steve (Antoine Olivier Pilon)—a charismatic agitator who struggles with ADHD and is prone to intermittent bouts of violent and aggressive behavior. . Set in a slightly altered reality wherein parents are allowed to commit fractious minors directly into managed care facilities without the intervention of social services, Die is inversely compelled to remove Steve from care after an act of harmful destructiveness. Returning home to suburban Montréal, Die is quickly overwhelmed by her son's turbulent behavior, before the incursion of a kindly neighbor named Kyla (Suzanne Clément) helps to deliver a precarious sense of equanimity to their lives. Written and directed by burgeoning phenom Xavier Dolan ("Laurence Anyways", "Tom at the Farm"), "Mommy" is a boldly provocative depiction of familial dysfunction and the utter complexity of human relations. Working with remarkable zeal and confidence, he brings his uncanny knack for humanism and ingenuity to full flourish—delivering a wonderfully unique human drama to full cinematic life.

 

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