Monday, March 28, 2016

100 reasons why Mommy is my favorite film of all time: Part VIII

We discussed 1-10, 11-20, 21-30, 31-40, 41-50, 51-60 & 61-70.  Now let's move on...

Reason #71

This moment is such a pure moment, and one that I treasure.  Throughout the film there are small glimpses of Die merely observing her son, especially when he's happy (usually pertaining to the time he's spending with Kyla).  Here Die is watching her son run around the beach with Kyla as the two are playing, again much like a father would chase his young son (we've already noted this 'role') and the way that Die is holding herself, wrapped in a blanket, her arm holding it close, her eyes fixed on their play and her face tells the story of a woman who has, in this moment, found something to be grateful for, something to be happy about, and as she stares her mind starts to wonder to a world where this happy moment can extend itself to every facet of her life.

Now, I could have probably listed 100 reasons why this next sequence is my favorite cinematic 'moment' of all time, but for the sake of this series of posts, I'll try and limit myself.

Reason #72

This face, it reminds me so much of my daughter.  I'll explain.  She's a beautiful girl, but she's a serious cut-up, and she litters every picture I take with an ugly face.  Never fails.  A snapshot of a bunch of smiling, happy faces and then, smack dab in the middle is my little girl and her scrunched up 'dork' face.  I've learned to embrace it.  I don't even want her to smile in a picture anymore, and when she actually does give me one of those soft faces of an angle that literally melts my heart, I kind of miss the goofball I know she is on the inside...because one day...she may stop making these faces altogether.  The fact that this is the first image we see within Die's fantasy is so telling to how she wants to see her son; happy.

Reason #73

The pile of hearts.

Reason #74

Dolan doesn't waste time letting us know that Kyla is still there, a major part of the happiness that Die wants to see within her future.

Reason #75

One aspect of this fantasy sequence that I particularly love is the way that Dolan constantly pulls the whole thing in and out of focus.  It's so fluid that it almost feel poetic in nature, the soft focus almost following the pull of the music, but it carries such a strong symbolic nature, pointing out that even in her dreams, her reality is constantly blurring lines and taking her out of her hopes.

Reason #76

I love this moment for one very specific reason.  Dolan bleeds into his films this personal experience that drives his films and produces such rich emotional results.  Casting an actor who resembles himself was yet another way to make this story personal and reflective.

Reason #77

The fact that peace is a blur driving down the road, far away from Die.

Reason #78

The fact that even Die's memories are corrupted by her present.  Here we see her remembering the way it was to be a new mother, to hold her baby in her arms, to embrace his joy and dream of his future and yet, here she is, in her memory, wearing the necklace that resulted in one of the most pivotal moments in the film.  She's confusing her past and her present because she already knows the answers and so her memories are victim to her reality.

Reason #79

Reason #80

As reality pulls her out of her daydream, her face betrays her fantasy and tells a different story, the story of a woman who desperately wants to believe in something she simply can't, even though she must.  She lost in this inevitability, bewildered by her own reality because this is nothing she ever dreamed she'd face.  Everything she wanted, everything she imagined, everything she foresaw has dissolved into a life alien to her desires.  But she's been here before, and she knows the only thing left to do is persevere.


  1. #72 -- Oh. Dear. God. That's my son. I have years and years worth of pictures with him making ridiculous faces. From the entire seventeen-and-a-half years of his life, I have like 3 decent pictures.

  2. So I'm just skimming through all these now while the film is still fresh in my mind, but I had to comment on this one now, because this sequence is where Mommy kicked up into greatness for me. It is damn near perfect, and while I was watching, I was honestly not sure if it was a dream sequence or a film-ending flash-forward, until it was over. The cinematography, the editing, the score(!!!), the tiny details like that pile of hearts... it is brilliant, sublime perfection in every way.

  3. The sequence of #72-80 is one of the finest things in the film. Probably my #2 moment behind the Wonderwall sequence.

  4. This just shows why one has to watch a film more than once...a great film. The hearts scene is so telling. I love that now Die's past shows the dad as Kyla. Kyla's family is almost gone since Kyla has replaced them with Die and Steve. It really hit knowing Die was thinking of her son graduating and being a success when her true reality is not this at all.