Friday, March 25, 2016

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

Moving on from reasons 1-10, 11-20, 21-30 & 31-40...

Reason #41

I absolutely love this nods to simple childhood joys that Dolan gives us here, and this is such a beautiful shot because it gives the audience a hint towards Kyla's place in this relationship.  Steve's father left a hole in the family that needed to be filled, and this moment, showing what is often portrayed as a father-son moment, lets us know that Kyla is filling that hole.

Reason #42

He may know something we don't know.

Reason #43

It's less this actual moment and more the words coming out of Steve's mouth.  "I'm free."  There is a crushing feeling wrapped up in his exclamations because we know his freedom is fleeting, but in this moment, as frivolous, dangerous and ridiculous as it all seems (I mean, it's such childish and reckless behavior) he is completely 'free', happy to just be in this moment and enjoying his life, and that is all that any parent wants for their child; that they have moments of pure happiness.  

Reason #44

Exactly three minutes.  Exactly three minutes of peace before Die's world come crashing back in on her.  Feels about right.

Reason #45

But this face says so much.  It's a knowing smile, because Die has been here before and she is almost betrayed by her own hope that this swell of happiness could last, could sustain itself.  Here she is in the position she knew deep down she would end up and what other way can you react to that full-circle awareness?  

You have to grin and bare it.

Reason #46

This guy.  So, up until this point, I kind of liked him.  He obviously couldn't take a hint, but he seemed to be such a genuine guy, the kind that you'd root for to eventually get the girl, but this whole moment changed everything.  I've already talked about awkward dinner moments, but this one has a much different outcome.  In fact, while the previous 'awkward' antics held in their palm a sincerity and endearment to them, this whole scene plays out with such cheapness it starkly contrasts the 'happy home' atmosphere of the previous dinner.  

This guy can't stop putting his foot in his mouth.

And even Die knows it.  I love this exchange as Steve's question eats at his mother.  He's looking right into her eyes even though she's not even looking at him.  She is only trying to help her son, but he doesn't want help this way.  

UGH, the way he uses the word "our" is so disturbing here.  This whole scene shows his true intentions and his priorities and it all feels like such a 'preying' moment, like he's waiting for his moment to take advantage.  He has one goal in mind, and while he may have begun his quest for Die in a respectable and even well-meaning fashion, his desire for her and his ego (bruised due to her constant rejection of sorts) has allowed him to almost toy with her personal life because he now sees his way in.  He's already speaking to her as if he's won, as if he's gotten what he wants.

This guy is the f*cking worst.

Reason #47

I've mentioned before that Dolan is just a genius when it comes to placing the right music in the right moments of his films, and this is no exception.  The juxtaposition of the actual lyrics of this song and those happy faces singing it are perfectly staged.  As this young woman (and her friend) throw up peace signs and sing with plastered smiles, the words leaving their mouths tell a different story; Steve's story.
No you don't know what its like
When nothing feels alright
You don't know what its like to be like me
To be hurt, to feel lost
To be left out in the dark
To be kicked when you're down
To feel like you've been pushed around
To be on the edge of breaking down
And no one there to save you
No you don't know what its like
Welcome to my life
This moment, which lasts a few seconds at most, captures the ignorance of so many who don't understand what it really means to truly FEEL this way (hell, I doubt anyone in the band Simple Plan really understands what these lyrics mean).  Angst and teenage rebellion have become so glamorized by popular mediums that almost every teenager wants to act like no one understands them and try and portray these emotions as genuine, but they don't REALLY know what this feels like.  This young girl probably LOVES this song (she obviously chose to sing it) and she's probably sat in her nicely decorated bedroom with her top dollar stereo with her legions of friends and listened to it full blast while commiserating about how mom and dad are so mean and how no one is there for them, while her father is working 9-5 to afford that stereo and her mother is downstairs making her dinner.  It's suddenly become 'cool' to be depressed, but this girl doesn't get it at all.

Reason #48

Reason #49

I'm not going to lie, Steve does steal the show.  I've said it once, and I'll say it a million times more, Antoine-Olivier Pilon delivers the greatest male performance of the current decade; period.

Reason #50

There is something about this shot that I absolutely love.  As Steve purveys the karaoke bar, he sees a lot of people and things and yet this sight is the one that feels almost illuminated in the sea of blue.


  1. Simple Plan fucking sucks. They're a bunch of posers who try to be all PUNK yet I bet none of them own or even heard Fun House or Raw Power by the Stooges yet they got away with butchering "Suffragette City". Bastards.

  2. Oh God, that guy. He was so awful. And I was really rooting for him to turn out to be a good guy.

  3. #43 and #47 are two of my favorite moments as well. And Pilon is on fire in this, no doubt.

  4. You really want him to be a great guy because Doe deserves this but he just turns into a real schmuck. His condescending way to her son is anything but endearing and Steven knows all too well.