The Eyes of My Mother
Directed by Nicolas Pesce
A young, lonely woman is consumed by her deepest and darkest desires after tragedy strikes her quiet country life.
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★★★★ review by davidehrlich on Letterboxd
like someone fell asleep towards the end of TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and then had this horrifically beautiful monochrome nightmare.
what a thing to watch.
★★★★ review by Eli Hayes on Letterboxd
pretty much the epitome of "don't pick up the hitchhiker" films.
★★★½ review by Lucy on Letterboxd
norman bates WHOM?
★★★★ review by Jane Firehorse on Letterboxd
sign me up as a bonafied member of the "borderline films collective", which involves people like sean durkin (director of martha marcy may marlene, a film i love!) and nicolas pesce, director of this wonderful filmic nightmare.
"the eyes of my mother" struck close to home. having grown up on a farm, i understand the horrors of isolation and ... the barn... as people who are unfamiliar with such spaces do not.
francesca, our protagonist, has lived a horrific and lonely life, utterly traumatized by her childhood, and thus passing on the trauma in an effort to create (secure?) human connection.
shot in luminous blacks, whites & greys, the film captures the nuances of morality and empathy in terrifying ways. the scenes in the forest are stunning in their fairytale starkness: how can one escape these liminal trees? the cinematography and mise en scene, at times, took my breath away, as did the very slow pacing. as viewers we can sometimes underestimate the power of a long take: it can make us squirm, scream...or cry, even.
"the eyes of my mother" is about family heartbreak & the making of a murderer - and it will dig deep into your psyche, like a shovel, but it will simultaneously touch you, almost lyrically.
this is a discomforting narrative, needless to say, but it's told with heart.
★★★★ review by DirkH on Letterboxd
Jeez, this film got to me in the worst of ways.
This is the type of horror film that hinges upon how much the audience is willing to allow the atmosphere to get under its skin. Storywise The Eyes of My Mother hardly has any meat on its bones and as this is the case it has to make up for it with something. First time writer and director Pesce goes all out in the style and atmosphere departments and boy does he succeed.
This is an extremely minimalist film (at points a bit too much) that conjures up a tiny universe of monochrome nightmares. Carried by an outstanding central performance we are taken into the mind of a very disturbed young woman. There is a certain matter-of-factness to her insanity and the way she horrifically treats people she meets that disturbed me to no end.
If you are willing to go along with what Pesce is trying to achieve and take in the perspective of the protagonist and alternatively her victims, then you'll get a lot out of this film, making its minimalist tone and sober style all the more impressive. Let the silences that force you to watch and take in the beautiful pictures Pesce paints wash over you and allow yourself to feel uncomfortable by this disturbing nightmare displayed before you.
Can't wait to see what this guy will get up to next.
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