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Goodnight Mommy 
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Burning Godzilla
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Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2001 2:48 am
Posts: 4966
Location: Brighton, MI
Goodnight Mommy

2014 release, directed by Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz
Starring Lukas and Elias Schwarz and Susanne Wuest

PLOT SUMMARY: Twin boys are living the good life at a beautiful house out in the Austrian countryside with their mom. Mom's face is bandaged up after some sort of unspecified operation. When they aren't outside leaping around on their trampoline, wandering the woods or playing with Leo, the cat, they are feeling the sting of the way mom is starting to treat Lukas, as if only his twin brother were worth her time. She talks about not letting him have fresh clothes or eat supper, and we never hear what her problem is with him. The boys are starting to wonder if that is really their mother under all the gauze. They decide to set about finding out for sure, even if it gets ugly...and does it ever.

CLIFFIE'S NOTES:

>> I found this mentioned somewhere online as an underappreciated Halloween movie. It is nothing of the sort, although the boys do appear a time or two in homemade masks. It's summertime, for one thing.

>> The pace is slow, but a watchful, suspenseful slow, not put-you-to-sleep slow or (gag!) Stanley Kubrick slow. It's all about waiting to see what happens next, and it becomes clear that everyone in the house is on tenterhooks.

>> This story is all about how children manage to fly under their parents' radar, even when they are being watched very closely indeed. This mom is very strict, very demanding, and the boys have a full and complex secret life that she probably doesn't suspect.

>> The kids are not bad kids. they are not only good; they are Germanically good, and that's spelled out for us in the very first shot when we are treated to a singing family, kids in dirndls and lederhosen surrounding mom who's holding the baby, everyone producing a pitch-perfect multilayered Teutonic harmonizing version of "Lullaby and Good Night." This is clearly the standard everyone used to have in their lives and which everyone is trying to get back to. If only those blasted bandages were gone and we could see her face!

>> I have never seen such a large collection of Madagascar hissing roaches. I have certainly never seen them used just this way in a movie. And Leo, the cat. Oh, Leo.

>> What I noticed is how many memories of childhood this brought back to me -- and I don't have a twin, my mom is nothing like this, my home was nothing like this one. It's just the constant sense of us-against-the-adults-who-don't get it and the constant machinations to find out more, make sense of the situation, get those answers nobody wants to give you. It really captures a part of childhood that has nothing to do with playing marbles or watching TV. It made me feel it all over again: feeling scared and off0balance and unable to get what I needed from the adults. It was really jarring against this beautiful setting, filled with goodlooking, basically nice people.

I would not dream of telling you how this comes out, but it's a wonderful low-key chiller.

_________________
Guy in bar: "I got 50 dollars in my pocket saying you're coming home with me tonight."
Girl in bar: "They're lying to you."
(from Psychos In Love)

Sample piscatorial love at Cliffie's Notes! Now in blog form for the greater good of the Fish Conspiracy!


Wed Nov 09, 2016 11:39 pm
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Destoroyah
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Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:29 pm
Posts: 996
Location: Minnesota
It is funny as an adult or parent how quickly we forget that us-against-them mentality kids have and probably should have.

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Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:17 pm
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Burning Godzilla
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Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2001 2:48 am
Posts: 4966
Location: Brighton, MI
Yeah, for kids it's a trust-no-one world.

_________________
Guy in bar: "I got 50 dollars in my pocket saying you're coming home with me tonight."
Girl in bar: "They're lying to you."
(from Psychos In Love)

Sample piscatorial love at Cliffie's Notes! Now in blog form for the greater good of the Fish Conspiracy!


Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:53 pm
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