Posts Tagged ‘visually flawless’

MV5BMTcyMDkyMDA4N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjE5MDExMDI@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,676,1000_AL_Because come on.  Come on.  No one is going to give The Eyes of My Mother less than five stars.  I don’t care how contrarian you are; I don’t care how much you hate “artsy” movies; I don’t care how opposed you are to all that is beautiful and clear and flawlessly done in a world where the ugly, the graceless, and the inept are increasingly lionized.  If you give this movie fewer than the maximum number of stars, you know in your heart that you are lying; and furthermore, that you are a bitter, cane-shaking old coot who shouts at clouds about those damn kids and their stupid making better movies than your favs from the 70s.

You are the enemy of the grim, gorgeous, monochromatic world to come, less-than-five-star-giver.  You.

The Eyes of My Mother is not just an astonishingly beautiful movie, though it is that; the cinematography, lighting, framing, arresting visuals, and weird, creepy grace of Kika Magalhães as Francisca are reminiscent of the utter gorgeousness of 2015’s Darling, a film I had to watch a couple of times before I could really process anything other than how beautifully shot the movie was.  Like Darling – and other recent entries into the horror genre like The Witch and The Blackcoat’s Daughter – The Eyes of My Mother steers back away from an 80’s-style reliance on gore and jump scares into gothic Shirley Jackson territory, depending for its effect not on the sudden shrieking of violins but on the quiet, unrelenting awfulness of every minute of the movie.

Not that I don’t love gore and jump scares, because I do – and The Eyes of My Mother certainly has gore enough.  But it’s not an end in itself; it’s a means to tell a story about a young woman whose life is as genuinely awful a place to be for herself as it is for anyone else who comes into her orbit.  I’m not sure the genre has seen a character as simultaneously horrifying and sympathetic as Francisca since Norman Bates, and while I doubt that appreciation of The Eyes of My Mother will be as widespread as appreciation of Psycho (because the world is a crappy place full of terrible non-five-star-giving people), I hope very much that it will be as deep and as long-lived.

So what’s the verdict?  Five stars.  If you do not love this beautiful, skillful, queasily heartbreaking movie, then you and I cannot be friends because you have no soul and you probably like tract houses with popcorn ceilings.  Go on about your wretched, empty  existence and watch Honey Boo Boo instead.

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