MOTHER ★★★★½

I didn't realise that Tatsushi Oomori's scripts could get any more complex after his film The Ravine of Goodbye back in 2013 about a rape victim living with her perpetrator, but I was wrong! This viscerally devastating and crushing film details years of compounded abuse against a boy by his mother and how he chooses to stand by her selfish and cruel ways to the end. You could commend every one of the actors (children and all) for their performance in this film, and I think that comes down to the director's guidance. The score is ominous and tense and sprinkled into the movie at defining moments where history repeats itself: and the WORST MOTHER IN HISTORY manipulates, uses and abuses everyone in sight, most of all her son who is at the bottom of her list of concern. I can imagine that this will baffle many of its audience for Shuhei's traumatic love bond with his mother: but the fact that this all does occur within families makes it necessary to face, even if you’ll be stiff and full of nerves the whole runtime. I do wish that it went further with Shuhei's growing mixed feelings about his mother and perhaps seeing the abuse for what it is and separating from the relationship, which would have elevated the film even further for me. And I've never felt happier that these kids are actors and hopefully have happy and healthy family lives! Bravo to the cast!

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