Mommy

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74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 46 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , ,
  • Summary: A feisty widowed single mom finds herself burdened with the full-time custody of her rambunctious
    15-year-old ADHD son. As they try to make ends meet, Kyla, the peculiar girl across the street, offers her help. Together, they find a new sense of balance, and hope is regained.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 34
  2. Negative: 1 out of 34
  1. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jan 22, 2015
    100
    There’s so much that is brilliant and unexpected and often downright thrilling about Mommy, the fifth feature (a fact amazing in itself) from 25-year-old Quebec enfant terrible Xavier Dolan.
  2. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Jan 20, 2015
    90
    Mommy is first and foremost a mother-and-son story, but it's also a surprisingly delicate exploration of lonely lives, and the temporary islands of companionship that make them bearable.
  3. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    May 24, 2014
    83
    As a director, he finally shows a willingness to work on the same wavelength of the material instead of adding distracting bells and whistles that overstate his characters' grievances.
  4. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jan 30, 2015
    75
    It feels like living inside a pressure cooker with one particular family — experiencing their turbulence as if from the inside, while always a little glad to be watching from a safe distance.
  5. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Jan 22, 2015
    70
    Mommy is certainly a showcase for powerful acting: Anne Dorval is the coarse but affecting Diane, Antoine-Olivier Pilon is terrifying as Diane’s teenage son, Steve.
  6. Reviewed by: Guy Lodge
    May 24, 2014
    67
    If Mommy counts as a slight creative step back, and I would argue that it is, it's at least an elegant and purposeful one.
  7. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    Jan 23, 2015
    25
    Willfully over determined and perversely stylized.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Jan 23, 2015
    10
    A perfect movie. Beautiful, haunting, funny, brutal, hysterical and heathbreaking all at once. Outstanding performances and a visually perfectA perfect movie. Beautiful, haunting, funny, brutal, hysterical and heathbreaking all at once. Outstanding performances and a visually perfect and varied style. Expand
  2. Apr 7, 2015
    10
    I really liked the movie Mommy, from the director Xavier Dolan with the three main characters played by Antoine-Olivier Pilon, Anne Dorval andI really liked the movie Mommy, from the director Xavier Dolan with the three main characters played by Antoine-Olivier Pilon, Anne Dorval and Suzanne Clément. It's a dramatic film, which was released last october. This film is Canadian with English dialogues.

    As the film shows, the story is about a relationship between a mother and a 17 year old who has behaviour problems.

    According to me, this film should be seen because it gives an understanding of lots of things in terms of strange behaviours that a human can have. It gives a huge amount of emotions, which is the most important thing, especially in cinema. This film is beautiful, and transports us in different kinds of sensations. We are often in empathy with the charaters, wa want to follow them as far as are can in their story.

    The framing of the film in very important at some moments, we see that the director has taken great care of the filming ans the scenes full of feelings. The actors play a crucial rôle to transmit this impact.

    There is a moral that can differ according te the spectator, thanks to the stressfull end. Go and see to understand !
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  3. Jan 31, 2015
    10
    MOMMY is so wonderful, insightful, energizing, and scary, that I truly cannot imagine a better film coming out in 2015. I loved everythingMOMMY is so wonderful, insightful, energizing, and scary, that I truly cannot imagine a better film coming out in 2015. I loved everything about this latest work from Xavier Dolan. Once again I am thrilled to celebrate a filmmaker who really captures who we are today. This film has the pulse and sensibility of 2015 without trying desperately in any way to be hip or cool. In fact, the film ain't hip it all. It just is TODAY! Expand
  4. Jul 3, 2015
    9
    You know what sucks? I already did my top movies of 2014 list, now if I only watched this movie before making the list this would have madeYou know what sucks? I already did my top movies of 2014 list, now if I only watched this movie before making the list this would have made the list easily. Well I got something to learn next time.

    The story is about a single mom's drama about raising her son, who's behavior deteriorates into violence, due to a mild mental illness.

    I first took interest in the film Mommy just because of the hype and the positive praise it got from the 2014 Cannes Film Festival and the amount of awards it won from the Jutra Awards and Canadian Screen Awards for best Foreign Language film, but not a Academy Award for Foreign Film at the Oscars. Since I am watching more Foreign Language films and searching the ones that got high ratings or just the ones that may interest me, because I'm taking a break from some movies today as they normally not very good or just too Hollywood for me, I mean movies today are getting pretty stale and cliche as nothing feels originally anymore. When Hollywood tries to make a original movie that's down to earth it's laughable. These something about Foreign Language films that always feel real and sometimes so tight with it's story and ending that most movie studios will shy away from and I love it. So I checked out the 2014 Award Wining Mommy and it was absolutely brilliant, I mean how could I even dear overlook this I mean this is a great movie right here and true film making at it's best.

    Not only did the Oscar screw up for not awarding this for Best Foreign Language film, they also didn't nominate Anne Dorval for Best Actress, because she did one of the best, the most heart felt and the most real piece of performance I've seen in 2014. I felt her struggle and the mix relationship between her and the missed behaved son. There was many scenes in the movie were the son and her have this argument over each over and it never felt like I was just watching actors reading out the script and pretending that they related, no they back and forward arguments always felt real and I bough it. Oh and I found out most of the awards that this movie won are not just for the Foreign Language Award but most of the awards went to her and she deserves it and a Oscar too for god shake. At the Cannes Film Festival Julianne Moore won for Best Actress for Maps to the Stars and I haven't seen Maps to the Stars yet so I can't really judge on her performance in that movie since I haven't seen it, but Anne Dorval was nominated in that category so it was disappointing that she didn't take the award, but I have seen Still Alice and she won a Oscar for that role, but Anne Dorval should have took that Oscar home as she did a much better than Moore as I connected to Anne Dorval more and how her performance made me feel different emotions that I never felt before while watching the movie.

    Antoine-Olivier Pilon is a unknown star to me as I haven't seen him in any other movies before so this is basically the first ever performance I get to see him in and man god can this kid act, I mean he was so good in the movie. Just like I said about Anne Dorval and that is all the time it never felt like acting to me, it felt real. Antoine plays the misbehaved son perfectly that he actually catches the trouble child very well since I have seen young people like him in real life and how they act is just like him. I also love how they never force the message of "He's got a mental illness oh feel sorry for him". The movie never puts that in your face like most movies do when they try to be realistic or make you feel something for the character. He's performance showed both angry, goofy, troubled and damaged but all that is in he's performance and it never feels force and that was so well done that movie didn't slip into that cliche that happens in most movies and that's due to Antoine-Olivier Pilon excellent performance.

    The director of the movie Xavier Dolan which I haven't really seen any of his last work so this is my first movie directed by him and a great start. This is film making at it's best, I mean the cinematography is beautiful, the tone of the movie can switch to serious drama but quickly change to happy and many other tones and it didn't ruin the movie like most do. Xavier Dolan did both a excellent job on directing the movie and making this as down to earth as possible showing characters and they problems that most people can relate to. Awesome work Xavier Dolan.

    For problems with the movie I haven't really got any to be honest, but I'm not going to give this the perfect rating as I think this isn't on the level of 5/5 rating it can ever get it, but the rating I'm giving it is really outstanding and it's the highest rating I give this week.

    Overall I say that Mommy is worth checking it if you haven't seen it yet. It's worth your time and don't do the same mistake as I did and not watch this fantastic movie.
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  5. Jan 25, 2015
    9
    A brutal depiction of a mentally challenged teenage boy from explosive tantrums to angelic clarity- Mommy is an emotional roller coaster rideA brutal depiction of a mentally challenged teenage boy from explosive tantrums to angelic clarity- Mommy is an emotional roller coaster ride driven by Xavier Dolan's deft direction.
    When love is not enough- a mother's frustration for not easing her child's suffering- only exacerbates an already volatile relationship. Raw performances and claustrophobic camera work shine a much needed light on a broken system and a society's inadequacies in dealing with this probelm. For we are all trying to hold it together- yet, for some it is easier than for others.
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  6. Mar 13, 2015
    9
    A beautiful story about a mom who wants the best for her son and a boy who can't always control himself but loves with mom above all. ThisA beautiful story about a mom who wants the best for her son and a boy who can't always control himself but loves with mom above all. This story shows us that love is not always enough to save someone but it's always important to have hope. With spectacular performances from the cast, a powerful script, a touching soundtrack and a beautiful editing, Xavier Dolan proves one more time that he's here to surprise us with every single film he does. Expand
  7. Feb 17, 2015
    5
    Nothing annoys me more than walking out of a movie annoyed at the director and screenwriter and here I am, three hours later, still annoyed atNothing annoys me more than walking out of a movie annoyed at the director and screenwriter and here I am, three hours later, still annoyed at the director and screenwriter of “Mommy”, both being Xavier Dolan who also edited it.

    The basic story is interesting in that it deals with a mother whose son has been kicked out of a juvenile facility after causing a fire burning 75% of another boy’s skin. The mother, Diane, nicknames Die and played by Anne Dorval, has been a widow for 3 years and the son, Steve, played by Antoine Olivier Pilon, hasn’t accepted his father’s death and had been previously diagnosed with ADD and/or possibly also being bi-polar. They are both capable of moods swinging form high highs to low lows. One moment he can be choking her and the next moment kissing her on the lips while she can be as tender with him as any mother can be and in the next moment bashing him over the head with a framed picture.

    Both the mother and son lean on their neighbor across the street who lives there with her boyfriend? Husband? And their young daughter. She, Kyla, played by Suzanne Clement, had been a high school teacher but due to something--a nervous breakdown?--has stopped teaching and she can barely talk in full sentences and stutters horribly except around the mother and son.

    Both mother and son are foul mouth speakers along with being flirtatious whenever the opportunity arises or, sometimes, instigating sexual innuendos. The language, in some instances, is definitely R rated.

    It is a good straight told story of a subject that isn’t often a theme for movies, mainly in the first half but then the director/screenwriter/editor enters the picture. I want to excuse him because he is 25 years old but this is his fifth picture so he should know better. The film is mostly in a 1 to 1 ratio so most of the time you feel as if you are looking at it on a large cell phone. The screen is widen a few times but only effective and noticeable the first time. There are one too many blurry collages not too mention choppy editing that I guess is suppose to be ’artistic’. Also the screenwriter leaves way too many questions unanswered that are an important part of the story.

    Anne Dorval, Suzanne Clement and Antoine Olivier Pilon give excellent performances, especially the latter who has to handle showing all sides of a teenager with mental illness that changes him constantly.

    Aside from running far too long--two hours and 20 minutes--I felt frustration at how Dolan was taking a good story line and getting excessive with the camera. I found myself going from being interested to being bored and back and forth all during the movie and, finally, leaving annoyed.
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See all 9 User Reviews

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