Thursday, January 06, 2011

Movie review - “Motherhood” (2009) *

This received some publicity for being the least successful film released in British cinemas ever or something – at first I thought it was a harsh verdict but not after seeing it. This is a dreadful movie, shockingly made in all departments. Chief blame must lie with the writer director, who was foolish enough to think her life had the material to make a feature film. Sure, it’s not easy to raise kids but they’re not babies, she has a partner, she doesn’t do paid work – there’s lots of people who have it plentay tougher than she does. And mothers do say how hard it is to raise a child – they say it all the time, and write umpteenth books about it, if only you care to pay attention.

This is a film made by, for and about whiners. The mother (Uma Thurman) whines about having to get up, get kids ready, do her stupid blog, not having as much money as the neighbours, her husband writing tough feedback on her dump blog; the husband (Anthony Edwards) whines about marking papers for students who go to places they can’t afford to go to. (He’s an academic, which makes this a very truthful scene – no one whines or has a greater sense of entitlement than an arts academic – but doesn’t make for great drama); the kids whine about wanting to have a great party. No one whines about Uma Thurman talking on the phone while driving, which is downright dangerous.

The actors don’t help. Actually that’s not entirely fair – Edwards is fine, despite his dumb character, but Thurman mugs madly. She’s hysterical from the first scene, not giving her anywhere to go. Why did Killer Films attach their moniker to this? Was it the fact Thurman was attached? Did the script have resonance for mum Christine Vacchon? It’s hard to think of a worse film they’ve been involved with.

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