Ma Mere (2005)
An attractive widow finds her attentions turning to her teenage son in a troubling manner in this drama from France. Pierre (Louis Garrel) is a moody 17-year-old who is spending the summer with his parents at their summer home in the Canary Islands. While Pierre isn't especially close to his father (Philippe Duclos), he enjoys a warm relationship with his mother, Hélène (Isabelle Huppert) -- almost too warm, as her affection for him subtly strains the boundaries of typical familial behavior. When Pierre's father dies unexpectedly in an auto accident, his emotional dependence on Hélène grows, while her desire for her son does the same. Though Pierre finds himself attracted to several girls his own age summering on the island, he finds it increasingly difficult to reconcile his curiosity with the growing sexual tension between mother and son. … More
as The Father
No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.Login
Critic Reviews for Ma Mere
Most of the screenplay consists of meandering and inebriated characters talking just as high-falutin'.
This sexually messy, religiously infused film is a perfect example of the dregs of European cinema.
Glazed-over looks, naked flesh, inane philosophizing, and sand dunes announce that we're in Antonioni-land, circa Zabriskie Point.
110 minutes of Euro silliness mitigated only by the presence of Huppert and the striking ability of the actors to keep a straight face throughout this mess.
Ma mère could easily be mistaken for the latest anhedonic embarrassment out of Canada
Probably isn't for anyone not interested in the darkest corners of the human psyche, where sexual annihilation is the only response to a fallen world, where all moral bets are off, and where a boy's worst friend is his mother.
[The climax] involves such a disturbing blend of unhealthy mother-son affection and physical pain that it gives new meaning to the term child -- not to mention audience -- abuse.
Ma Mere will have limited appeal, but I suspect it is a fair visual representation of Bataille's libertine philosophical notions.
A little perversity never hurt anyone. But the French film Ma Mere has a lot of perversity and it hurts everyone -- including the people in the audience who don't get up and walk out.
It could stand as Exhibit A for why French auteurs are a tough sell to the average seeker of entertainment.
The translation from the highly literary to the literalness of film isn't easy and too often, Ma Mère feels like a parody.
The drab bondage buffs in Ma Mere are so sick of life and sick of each other that we get sick of them way before the mother makes good on her threats and turns her son into her Oedi-pal.
It wallows in repellant imagery rather than enlightening us intellectually in any serious way, and it offers no real psychological insight into the characters.
This is one movie I wouldn't want to take my mother to see (or even tell her that I saw).
Honore uses an ultraserious, would-be stylish approach that ultimately renders the depraved proceedings far more boring than titillating.
Garrel's performance here reveals Bernardo Bertolucci's The Dreamers for the featherweight fantasy that it was. Ma Mère may appear grungier on the surface, but its themes run far deeper.
Audience Reviews for Ma Mere
European cinema at its best! Producer Paulo Branco has been producing some of the best films and best directors in Europe and this is one of the latest ones. Absolutely amazing, in depicting obsession, incest, dysfunction, love, selfishness, acceptation, pain... It's particularly brilliant how time and space is (not) presented.
The ending is terrific and the perfect conclusion to the story. Absolutely superb, a film I think only French could have the audacity to do... I hope European Cinema gets more protection so that we can keep watching these master pieces, otherwise we'll just have to stay dumb watching the main pop corn stream...
French Existentialism. It does my head in! No really, this film is not as clever or as artistic as it thinks it is. Loosely based on a novel by Georges Bataille and ripped to pieces by Christophe Honoré who totally misses the point or at least doesn't understand the meaning (He also thinks by ripping off great directors like Eric Rohmer & Truffaut he is as good as them). This is awkward and unpleasant viewing. So far up its own arse its untrue but if you like the thought of your mum sticking a finger up your arse and making you lick it off then watching you have sex like a horse in a shopping centre, then this film is right up your street. I just hope you don't live down mine! Extra star for the good acting, read the book instead!More
Pierre is the product of a very unconventional marriage. Both his parents lead promiscuous lives and he spends most of his childhood in a Catholic boarding school. Soon after he returns home, now a young man, his father dies and his mother, undeterred by her husband's death, draws her son into her perverse lifestyle.
I'm not sure I'm open-minded enough to fully appreciate Ma Mere. It attempts to titillate by venturing into those dark places where most people feel VERY uncomfortable. If there is a moral to this story it's simply this: "Don't hump your mother". (Frankly, I didn't need an artsy French film to figure that out.)
[font=Century Gothic]"Ma Mere" starts out with Pierre(Louis Garrel) arriving at the vacation home of his parents in the Canary Islands. Soon after, his father has to return home to[/font] France on business where he is killed in an accident. Distraught, Pierre withdraws almost completely while his mother, Helene(Isabelle Huppert), hardly misses a beat. In fact, she gives him the key to his father's study before she heads out to party. Inside the study, Pierre finds a rather large stash of pornography. At first, he masturbates, then urinates all over it. Later, while he is nude sunbathing, Helene approaches him and tells him that it is time he got a first hand look at her hedonist ways, starting out with an introduction to her friend, Rea(Joana Preiss), who is even wilder than she is...
"Ma Mere" is a sexually explicit and provocative movie about intimacy and sex, and how dissimilar they really are. Helene has sex in copious amounts, but it is intimacy and love that Pierre desperately needs.(Pierre was raised by his grandparents since apparently Helene is so carefree as to be incapable of raising a child.)
And the scenic locations are very well photographed.
Discuss Ma Mere on our Movie forum!