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Friday, May 29, 2009

Mothers & Daughters Review

Mothers & Daughters - A KINOSMITH Release

Release Date: May 29th, 2009 (at the Royal)

Rated 14A for coarse language

Running time: 85 minutes

Carl Bessai (dir.)

Carl Bessai (creator)

Lullaby Baxter (music)

Bertram Havisham (music)

Carl Bessai as Documentary Filmmaker

Tantoo Cardinal as Celine

Babs Chula as Micki

Ben Cotton as Dice

Our reviews below:


Mothers & Daughters Review By John C.

** (out of 4)

Mothers & Daughters is an interesting little film. I’m not sure if was meant to be a comedy, drama, documentary or mocumentary. I laughed at this film, but I’m not quite sure I was laughing for the right reasons. It’s not really by any means a bad movie - I did find myself entertained. It’s also not really anything special.

It follows the story of three mother-daughter pairs. An obnoxious author and her obnoxious daughter. A woman who talks to paintings and is clearly losing it after her husband has left. Her daughter who always tried to not only be a good daughter for her father, but to be a good son. She spends her days bodybuilding. And finally, the only likable character in the film, a Métis woman who may have just found her missing granddaughter.

The title may suggest something thought provoking, or sweet. But this film doesn’t provoke thought and is rarely ever sweet. It’s mildly enjoyable, with pretty good acting. It opens in limited release at the Royal Theatre, starting today.


Mothers & Daughters Review By Erin V.

**1/2 (out of 4)

Mothers and Daughters is a interesting enough little film that passes an hour and a half. Made like a documentary, this film follows three mother/daughter pairs. Micki and Rebecca, Brenda and Kate, and Celine a mother/grandmother type figure to Cynthia.

Out of the three pairs, the scenes with Celine were the nicest to watch. She had the kind of motherly caring that you would hope to have seen from all of the pairs in this film. Brenda and Kate are also interesting to watch, although in a more quirky, odd way, but save for one scene of a dinner party, Micki and Rebecca are fairly annoying as they are always fighting.

Overall, Mothers and Daughters is not what I would consider a bad film, although nor would it be considered a masterpiece. This is a decent film that would be worth checking out, possibly on DVD, if you find the premise, as described above, interesting.


Mothers & Daughters Review By Nicole

**1/2 (out of 4)

Mothers and Daughter is a quirky Canadian mocumentary film about the relationships between parents and their adult children. Set in a small Vancouver neighbourhood, this film chronicles the lives of three mother-daughter pairs. The first pair involves a novelist named Micki, and her daughter, Rebecca, who love to argue, fight, and swear at each other all the time. The second pair involves a neurotic and crazy woman named Brenda, whose husband has left, and whose daughter, Kate, is always trying to beat the men at the gym. The last, and by far my favorite pair involves a Métis house painter, named Celine, whose client, Cynthia, may be her long lost granddaughter. Cynthia is a single Native woman who realizes she is pregnant. Having been adopted, she is worried if she would make a good parent. Celine helps Cynthia feel more confident in becoming a parent, and shows Cynthia the beauty in every living thing. At the end, we see how all the people are connected, and we see that the more argumentative pairs can forgive each other.

Mothers and Daughters is a somewhat funny and entertaining film. This film has many similarities to a Christopher Guest film, but is no where near as good or as funny. The first two pairs are funny in a quirky and eccentric way, but the only likable pair in the film are the two native women. Their relationship is the most genuine and believable of the three pairs. This movie is worth checking out, but would be just as good on DVD. A quirky Canadian film that is worth a rental.


Mothers & Daughters Review By Maureen

** (out of 4)

Canadian film Mothers and Daughters is surprisingly entertaining and amusing. Though I must say I felt guilty at times laughing at some pretty intense scenes between mother and daughter pair, Micki and Rebecca. Was I supposed to be laughing?

Of the three mother and daughter pairs I found mother Micki, the novelist and daughter Rebecca, the actor to be the most annoying to watch. I didn’t sense any real love between them.

The next pair, mother Brenda, the neurotic homemaker and daughter Kate, the psychotherapist/bodybuilder provided more amusing moments though in a sad, almost pathetic way.

My favorite of the three pairs was Métis interior housepainter Celine Boucher a mother figure to her young pregnant client, Cynthia. The friendship and respect that evolved between this pair was nice to watch. I really enjoyed Tantoo Cardinal’s portrayal of Celine Docter. Her’s was the finest acting in the film.

From the title I expected to come away with some profound insight into mother/daughter relationships. Instead I got 85 minutes of mild entertainment. Based on the very theatrical acting in this film I could see it working well as a stage play.

If you enjoy movies about relationships, like documentary style film, and enjoy checking out any Canadian made film, go see this one. I actually does provide an interesting hour and a half of entertainment. This is not a mainstream film, and is being shown at a limited number of theatres. Check it out if this is your kind of movie.


Mothers & Daughters Review By Tony

** (out of 4)

Mothers & Daughters, the latest film from Carl Bessai, was shot in Vancouver in a documentary style with minimal equipment, largely improvised by the cast. We meet three pairs of women, mainly in solo and two part scenes, as well as individually speaking to the camera and in brief scenes with others.

Micki (Babz Chula) is a vain pulp novelist whose obsession with her immortality as a great writer overshadows her relationship with her daughter Rebecca (Camille Sullivan). I found most of their interactions more irritable than humorous, though two scenes were funny–a dinner party with pretentious fans that almost turned into a food fight and Rebecca’s attempt to communicate to her Seth Rogan type boyfriend.

Brenda (Gabrielle Rose), still living in the last century as life crashes all around her, is more pathetic than funny. Her daughter Kate (Tiffany Lyndall-Knight) is a psychotherapist who counsels some of the other characters and in her spare time works out both inside and outside the gym.

Celine (Tantoo Cardinal) is a Métis house painter, whose latest client Cynthia (Tinsel Korey) is a talented young painter of native art. When Cynthia tells her she is pregnant, Celine confesses that her own daughter had died after having a baby, and she vows to take care of Cynthia as the granddaughter she never met.

Though it had its funny and touching moments and fine acting all around, I can’t say overall that I enjoyed Mothers & Daughters all that much. Except for Celine, I just didn’t like any of the other characters enough to care about them or even laugh at their expense.


Consensus: Mothers and Daughters is a decent enough film that would be worth checking out eventually if you’re interested. **1/4 (Out of 4)

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