Wednesday, March 30, 2016

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


After discussing reasons 1-10, 11-20, 21-30, 31-40, 41-50, 51-60, 61-70, 71-80 & 81-90, we have finally come to the end of this discussion, the final ten reasons (and by final, I mean the final in this very limited list, since there are many, many more reasons I couldn't fit into these posts).


[Note: There are so many things of note within this final conversation between Die and Kyla, and so narrowing them down to fit in the final ten slots here was hard, but I'll do my best.]

Reason #91


Kyla's body language during this scene is so hard to watch because it lets us know that she has reverted back to her awkward discomfort around Die.  It also makes us aware that she didn't stand by Die after Steve was admitted, but she...in a way...abandoned her.  We talked early on about how these two women deal with their struggles in different ways, about how Die is forced to stare straight ahead and actually DEAL with it, while Kyla almost institutionally hides from it.  Here is an example of that.  Things got hard, things got real, and Kyla walked away.  She couldn't handle it. 

Reason #92


The sad reality that Die knows where she stands...and that Kyla's facial reaction to these words confirms it.

Reason #93


This moment, these words, speak to something deeper between them.  Kyla, Die and Steve became a family unit.  No one was expecting it to happen, but it did, and Kyla possibly realized it for the first time in the car, hearing Steve's cry, reacting as she did.  She was in love with these two, in a way that almost replaced her own family with a new one and it's further cemented by her following words...


She suddenly saw this relationship as a threat to her own family, something her husband probably caught onto long before she did.  Watching Die make a decision that she personally couldn't have done, wouldn't have done, stressed to her the difference between them.  She saw Die's actions as abandonment, and she saw her own son and her own actions and her own regrets and she once again couldn't handle them.

Reason #94


Die's reaction to Kyla's words say it all...

Reason #95 


UGH!  Die's words, her reasoning, her complete take-down of all Kyle perceives to be right.  Here is a woman who cannot hide from what she's faced with, and she has built her life around pushing through it all, finding a way, and the only way you can do that without complete collapse of soul is to have hope.  Kyla's words, her fear of abandoning her own family, were a way of pointing a finger at Die as if to say, "you did it, but I can't."  Die turns it around though, and highlights the one thing she has the Kyla lacks and the reason Kyla can't do anything but run; Die has hope.  She has to.  She has to believe that this is the only way for her son to get well and that she is doing the right thing, as a parent, to secure any sort of 'hope' for her and her son.

Reason #96


Do you get it now, Kyla?

Reason #97


Having hope does not mean you don't have doubt.  You tell yourself that what you're doing is right, but you can't help but second guess, especially when someone you love, someone you trust, someone you believe in all but tells you you're wrong.  This moment, this overwhelming expression of panic, is so guttural, so brutally honest...

Reason #98 


...that we see Die, stripped down, broken and exposed for possibly the first time in the whole film.  She's allowed herself to just feel the break of spirit, the conflictions swarming inside of her.  She's not pretending for anything, not shielding herself from her own demons; she's being brutally honest with herself.  She can clean up and move on in the morning.

Reason #99


Reason #100 


There is no better way to close out the film, no better image to define what this movie is saying.  When Die speaks of her hope, this is what she is referring to, that her son finally be free.  While some have taken this moment to be a literal one, I don't see it that way.  I see this yet another extension of Die's fantasies, her dreams, her...hopes.  From the previous scene, we saw that Steve was heavily doped up and it makes little sense that, if he was deemed so dangerous, he'd be allowed to be unstrapped while clear-headed.  Instead of Dolan trying to justify Steve's actions or 'forgive' him his condition, Dolan is closing his film with the happy ending he desires for his lead, for Die.  He loves her.  He feels her pain.  He just wants her to be happy, and while this reality is probably unrealistic, he chose to end her film by giving her her wish.

10 comments:

  1. Great fucking list man. I thought about doing this for LiT as I originally was going to do something much bigger for its 10th Anniversary but ended up coming up with nothing except for 10 Reasons which I think worked. Maybe I'll do something for that film again in 2023.

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  2. This is an amazing list, and it really shows your passion and brilliance as a writer and film buff.

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  3. This is a moving and passionate list. Thanks !

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  4. Drew, your passion for this film is everything. You know I disagree on the ending. But your assessment of it makes me think twice. I felt it was letting Steve off too easy, but, in the sense of this is Die's dream, well that changes things. I'll miss you, man, but what a way to go out! Great great great list!

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  5. What a way to close out the film and this list. Fantastic job, buddy!

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  6. Thank you for this info.
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  7. Fisti! You're back. I'm so glad to see you back in blogosphere. I love your list. Great job. You make me want to see this film. After seeing your list, I'm ashamed not to have seen it.

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  8. This is a great tribute to. Great film that, I bet, you could get published actually. I loved this ending because he did break free. Even if he is "caught" again they can not imprison his mind. In her mind, and in his, he is always free.

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