Mother Night Reviews
January 20, 2013
Deeply moving and profound story, even if very sad and fictional, I can see why the author felt that this was the best movie version of any of his books, although I also liked Slaughterhouse Five, whose mood was much lighter. Although I was never a Nick Nolte fan, his performance in this movie was outstanding. Although not really a movie just for entertainment, it had some very real truths about life, war , politics, and what makes life worth living,
February 12, 2012
One of the strangest films I have seen based on Nazis and World War II. It was great seeing Nick Nolte really play this role. Kurt Vonnegut Jr. is one of the greatest novelists in American literature history and his story really comes alive in Keith Gordon's adaptation. The entire story of Howard Campbell Jr. makes me wonder if someone like that really existed in Berlin during the height of World War II. I also loved John Goodman as the OSS agent who liaises with Campbell. What a screwed up assignment for Campbell. Great shots of black and white in the prison as well. Wonderful work by Nick Nolte and Sheryl Lee. A very good film.
January 29, 2012
A bit doleful, although the sections with Campbell's adoption by neo-Nazis is true to the spirit of the text. There's just not enough of Vonnegut's dark humour nor his satirical edge. It was lovely to see Kurt himself in a very brief cameo as a passerby.
December 23, 2011
Brilliant adaptation of one of my favorite Vonnegut novels. Not a simple task. Job well done.
August 5, 2011
Mother Night, good night. Fell asleep while watching. Up to the moment of dozing off seemed just a little boring.
September 20, 2010
absolutely top notch in every aspect.
November 18, 2009
As many people know I am a undying fan of Kurt Vonnegut, however film adaptations of his works tend to be for lack of better word hollow. They tend to fail to convey the point of the novel and rarely capture the feeling of the book.
This movie however is an exception. Based on one of my favorite Vonnegut novels, Mother Night is the story of Howard W Cambell Jr (Nick Nolte), and american playwright living in Nazi Germany. Cambell lives for his wife Helga North(Sheryl Lee), a german actress. They vow that no matter what happens in the world that their love with prevail. Cambell is approached by Major Frank Wirtanen (John Goodman) and asked to be an american spy. Cambell uses his standing in society as a playwright to get himself a radio show, where he quickly gains himself a reputation as the voice of Nazi Germany, while feeding secret messages over the air. Late in the war Helga is a casualty of the war at the hands of the Soviet Army. When Howard finds out he quits his work with the propaganda ministry and when the war ends the US government sets him up with a new identity and a place to live in New York. Years later he is in a prison in Israel awaiting a trial for for crimes against humanity. In prison he is asked to write his memoirs before the trial, at which point he writes about his life from the point he was approached by Major Wirtanen to the point where he was sent to Israel.
This movie successfully captures the essence of the novel. While this is one of his most serious writings, the movie doesn't convey much of the classic Vonnegut humor, with exception of the few scenes featuring Robert Sterling Wilson: The Black Fueher of Harlem. The movie however completely captures the love and despair of the story, and raises the questions of what is real? what is real because we want it to be? what is real only because of the perception of reality? and what do you do when your only reason for living is taken away?
I highy recommend this movie and this book. It is truly one of Vonnegut's masterpieces. My only disappointment with the movie was the omission of the final iconic line from the book. I won't ruin the ending or any of the plot twists throughout, you'll have to find those out for yourself.
October 17, 2009
I've never seen a film that evoked so much empathy in me for such a complex and conflicted character. Nick Nolte doesn't get enough credit for what a courageous thespian he has been. It is also amazing how such a dark film is capable of evoking humor about its subject without treading into the ridiculous. It's always refreshing to see such a grave film not take itself so seriously. But I assue this may have a lot to do with the masterful post-modern writing of Kurt Vonnegut.
November 29, 2008
In the end, you are what you pretend to be. Whheeeew.
December 23, 2007
Of course I had to watch Mother Night, having read the book and Vonnegut being one of my favorite authors. It was surprisingly good. It followed the original story well. Go movie people! You did well for once. You didn?t slaughter the book.
July 2, 2008
Tight script and direction with some good performances in this underrated WW2 drama.
May 14, 2008
Very well done. Vonnegut himself appears briefly as a passing stranger in the film's denoument. Nolte is great. John Goodman plays a character reminiscent of his role in Barton Fink. Alan Arkin is well cast of course for a film based on a book of this era.
May 10, 2008
real good for a vonnegut book adaption. enjoyed this film a lot.
March 19, 2008
Funny thing about Mr. Vonnegut and the truths of his mind's eye. It's rare enough that anyone spots them at all, much less from so unique an angle as he did. Some of those truths do come through here and that alone is enough to render the film a gem.
October 11, 2007
Fairly entertaining, but missing something.
July 9, 2007
I had seen Mother Night because Sheryl Lee was in it, & it was worth seeing. Nolte did a great job, although I think Sheryl acted him off the screen in my opinion. I loved the gritty black & white prison scenes & I loved the ending. Overall, its a brilliant film.
June 27, 2007
Vonnegut shows an interesting side and Nolte was excellent in this
June 27, 2007
books really good didn't know they made a movie
June 20, 2007
just finished the book and want to see the movie again.
June 8, 2007
Based on a Kurt Vonnegut novel? Starring Nolte and Goodman? Too good to be true, and it was so good that this movie was buried and very few people know about it. It should be seen. Nolte is perfext for the role, he creates such sympathy for his character, and, let's not forget, it poses some questions about war that actually seem to be worth asking, which is exceedingly rare during these times of partisan American life.