Raising violent son a punishing emotional workout in 'Mommy'

February 19, 2015 5:05 PM

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"Mommy" is an explosive French-Canadian film about a mother-son relationship. It deals with a mother's struggle with an uncontrollable, mentally ill teenager, but the characters are so specific that it never feels like a case history. 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.

It's shot in a 1:1 aspect ratio, which means the frame is a perfect square. Actually, looking at it, I thought the image was taller than it was wide, but in any case it's quite different from all other movies, which are invariably more wide than tall. The obvious effect is a feeling of compression. ...

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