Hollywood loves a monster mom. Can this do him justice?


The urge to flee is in the air. “Scenes From a Marriage,” Hagai Levi’s remake of Ingmar Bergman’s iconic miniseries, shows mother and breadwinner, Mira, played by Jessica Chastain, as she takes a temporary assignment in Israel, with a lover. She is the mother as a womanizer and absent. Mira tells her husband, Jonathan, played by Oscar Isaac, that she’ll fly every two weeks to see their young daughter, justifying her plan with a hysterical note in her voice: “Men do it all. time and then, you know, it’s not really a big deal. “Unlike Gyllenhaal, Levi’s portrayal of caregiving is gestural, the child almost always in bed, a weirdly good sleeper. And unlike Leda. , Mira doesn’t make the clean break. What’s interesting about the series, stylish and very sexy, is how Mira manages to live much like a man, mainly thanks to her co-parent, a man who explicitly loves her. ‘taking care of them, and the fact that there is enough money to ease the difficulty. This is a fantasy of a different kind.

A mother leaves in Mike Mills’ new movie “C’mon C’mon” because her family obligations demand it. Mills’ film focuses on the other side of maternal absence: the child and the caregiver. Viv, played by Gaby Hoffmann, lives separately from her co-parent, who suffers from bipolar disorder, but is forced to help her through a psychiatric crisis. Joaquin Phoenix plays his brother Johnny, a “This American Life” style radio host, who volunteers to watch his 9-year-old son, Jesse, while he is away. This is Uncle Johnny’s first rodeo, and he receives parenting instructions from Viv over the phone. The film shows us, mainly through these conversations, that Viv is an involved, present and very real mother (“I [expletive] hate it sometimes, ”she tells Johnny, before telling him that he needs to feed Jesse protein). Upon release of the film, I read that male critics respectively describe Jesse as “a handful”, his mother as “forgiving”. And yet, the film shows a fairly classic behavior in child rearing. Jesse is seen running away from his uncle in the drugstore and on the street, refusing sleep, rejecting his noodles in favor of ice cream. On the phone with his sister, Johnny bemoans his inability to control the little boy. “Welcome to my [expletive] life, ”she told him. “No one knows what they’re doing with these kids. You just have to keep doing it.

“C’mon C’mon”, in black and white and a little slow compared to the frenetic sensuality of “The Lost Daughter”, reflects some of his representations: small person. Unlike Leda and Mira, Viv represents a perhaps more common version of the absent mother, one who left just because she had to take care of something else. It’s not quite a wish come true – Viv has her hands full to care for Jesse’s dad, and she always accompanies Johnny on the phone during his babysitting crises – but the day-to-day things happen. day is not his problem for once. I noted with interest Johnny’s recruitment of another co-worker as an on-site babysitter, and Johnny’s co-worker asked him to postpone his job.


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