‘EYES OF MY MOTHER’ Review
Ever watch a black and white movie and feel like you can see the color? Even though there’s no spectrum, there are so many tones in between the absence and consumption of color. The Eyes of My Mother does this so well because it feels very natural. The cinematography by Zach Kuperstein is simply stunning, and it’s the first thing I think anyone would tell you about the movie. Nicolas Pesce decided to shoot his debut in this format for what I saw as reflecting the cold tone of the story. So very cold. Make no mistake, this movie is bleak. Be ready.
Mother has had her daughter Francisca be comfortable with death from a young age. One day, a stranger strikes up a conversation with young Francisca on their farm, and his intentions aren’t good. Once grown, Francisca has to deal with the loss of both parents, and lives a lonely existence where she’s unable to connect with anyone. The comfort with death is a little too comfortable now. Oh, and then there’s someone she’s got locked up in the barn…
Francisca is played extremely well by Olivia Bond while young, handling a couple of tough scenes with a very natural feel. But it’s when she’s grown up, played by Kika Magalhaes, that’s a holy-shit-great performance. The obvious comparison is to Eihi Shiina’a Asami in Takashi Miike’s Audition. There’s a common chilly, quiet attitude and a seemingly extreme amount of pleasure in inflicting pain and torture. Magalhaes pulls out feelings of compassion and psychosis equally well, sometimes simultaneously. She’s essentially the only main character, and she completely owns every frame of the movie. She demands to be noticed.
This is one that has you silenced and wiped out the second the credits roll. There is a lot to be discussed once you begin to take it all in, and you just won’t be able to shake it off. At a scant 76 minutes, Eyes works quickly and somehow manages to be quiet, reflective, and take its time. I’m still not quite sure how it managed to achieve this, but Pesce has crafted one hell of a film. Working as writer, director, and editor, he’s solidified himself as one to follow on his first attempt. No small feat. Though in limited release, I recommend catching this on the big screen if you’re in a luckily chosen city.
One of the best horror films this year.
Stellar cinematography, amazing performance.
Maybe a tad too short, but this was pretty close to perfect for me.