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I'm Glad My Mother Is Alive (2011)

tomatometer

86

Average Rating: 7.3/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.

audience

55

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 243

My Rating

Movie Info

Based on a true story, I'm Glad That My Mother is Alive explores childhood trauma and its dire consequences on adult life. Given up for adoption as a toddler, troubled teenager Thomas becomes obsessed with tracking down his birth mother. After years of searching Thomas finds her single, with a small child, living in a nearby suburb and introduces himself. Traumatized by years of emptiness and longing for his mother, he starts an ambiguous relationship with her (part courtship, part obsession)

$8.4k

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September 1, 2011:
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All Critics (13) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (1)

Sophie Cattani as Julie takes us with her over several borders, and Vincent Rottiers as the latter-day Thomas is complete in his inchoate anger at fate.

June 19, 2013 Full Review Source: The New Republic
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The narrative easily goes back and forth in time; despite its Oedipal subtext, it avoids exploitation. Stellar performances by Rottiers and Cattani help keep the movie on track.

September 2, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
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Miller gets points for using a bit of narrative sketchiness to good effect...

September 2, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
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One of the film's strengths is its detached, even-handed view of someone whose turbulence and fits of rage are ultimately inexplicable, as is often the case in real life.

September 1, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Rottiers is excellent at embodying someone who projects vulnerability most when he's attempting strength, and who continually, heartbreakingly searches his mother for signs of attachment or regrets that fail to surface.

September 1, 2011 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Focuses, unsurprisingly, on family ties, although the kind you'll find here are more likely to choke than comfort.

August 31, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Titillating, thought-provoking, confidently made, involving and well-written and paced all accurately describe this wonderful film.

November 11, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

Titillating, thought-provoking, confidently made, involving and well-written and paced all accurately describe this wonderful film.

April 21, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

A stirring French familial drama of simmering resentment, anchored by a searing performance from young Vincent Rottiers.

October 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Shockya.com
Shockya.com

Wrenching stuff, the kind of unrequited love story that, unfortunately, remains all too common in the real world.

September 6, 2011 Full Review Source: Hollywood & Fine
Hollywood & Fine

A smoothly fractured history of a broken mother-son relationship, which even in its climactic tragedy keeps messy emotions at arm's length.

August 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

[Claude] Miller is a master of oh-my-God moments that at first seem to come out of nowhere but have been carefully calibrated ..., and here there are plenty.

July 11, 2010 Full Review Source: Film-Forward.com
Film-Forward.com

Audience Reviews for I'm Glad My Mother Is Alive

Based on a true story, "I'm Glad My Mother Is Alive" is an unsettling character study about Thomas(Vincent Rottiers) who we first meet as a young adult. He is recalling past memories, first as far back as he can at the age of 5 to the only memories he has of his birth mother, Julie(Sophie Cattani), who when confronted by social services, gives up him and his younger brother Patrick to a caring couple, Annie(Christine Citti) and Yves(Yves Verhoeven), who cannot have children of their own. By the age of 12(Maxime Renard), Thomas is starting to ask questions about his birth mother, especially after an exhausting swim with his father.(The moral of the story is to never try and keep up with the youngsters.) He is also getting into fights at school and is about to be sentenced to boarding school. A lot of that comes from his being conflicted with the love he has for his birth mother versus the possible reality of who Julie really is which frightens him. Some might say this adds up to a variation on the whore/madonna complex but it is not really that simple since she was still a teenager when she had Thomas and is still trying to figure things out. On the other hand, Patrick, now known as Francois, does not recall Julie at all and adjusts easier. In the end, there are no easy answers and no easy way of assigning blame.
September 4, 2011
Harlequin68
Walter M.

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Foreign Titles

  • I'm Glad My Mother Is Alive (Je suis heureux que ma mère soit vivante) (DE)
  • I'm Glad That My Mother Is Alive (UK)
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