The latest film from renowned film director, James Gray, is a gem. It is not often that a film fully lives up to the hype that surrounded its release, especially when that hype was mostly generated from fake Hollywood gossip columns who have a keen eye for a juicy tidbit. However, Mothers and Daughters is undoubtedly one of those rare films that completely delivers on all fronts.
The Artistry of James Gray
To put it simply, James Gray is one of the premiere artists of his generation. His unique cinematic style has landed him some of the biggest films in Hollywood. While most directors are content to keep to themselves the critical acclaim that their films enjoy, Gray has always been the type of person to acknowledge and celebrate the work of others. Which is why, even though he is undeniably prolific, his films feel far more personal and intimate than those of his more commercially-driven counterparts.
A New Direction for Hollywood
This year has seen a new emerging trend in Hollywood – filmmakers are wanting to explore different subject matter and share intimate stories about life and love. We have seen it with huge box office numbers being made on the back of female-led blockbusters, such as Black Widow and Solo: A Star Wars Story. This trend is being led by women who want to prove that they can be just as effective as their male counterparts, while others are looking for a new challenge after many years in the film business. Whatever the case, 2019 is looking to continue the trend and bring some unique viewpoints to the big screen.
What Is ‘Mothers and Daughters’ About?
The film opens with the voice of American playwright, Paula Vogel, introducing us to the varied and fascinating world of modern American theatre. In the spirit of innovators such as William Shakespeare and David Adlen, Gray creates a classical piece, The Zoo Story, that combines animalistic characters with psychological complexity. This combination makes for a unique and fascinating study of human nature.
From there, we are transported to New York City, where we meet a lonely and disillusioned Pattinson as he wanders the streets, daydreaming and occasionally eavesdropping on other people’s conversations. The camera works its way unerringly through a series of intimate scenes, revealing Pattinson’s innermost thoughts and feelings.
The Cinematography Is Breathtaking
The cinematography in Mothers and Daughters is absolutely breathtaking. It is the kind of filmmaking that would not be out of place in a major Hollywood blockbuster, yet it is the work of an independent artist, which is what makes it even more appealing. The cinematography is the combination of an exquisite eye for detail and a genuine love for what he is filming. It is clear that James Gray is a man that takes his craft seriously and enjoys what he does every bit as much as the next person. The way he crafts his shots and uses light to create atmosphere and tension is second to none.
The Cast Is Top-Notch
There are some extremely talented individuals behind the scenes of Mothers and Daughters. The cast is led by one of the most in-demand leading men in Hollywood, Robert Pattinson, whose career has taken him from blockbuster films to independent movies and back again. He handles the delicate balancing act of a talented actor/producer/director extremely well, never once seeming like he is over- or under-acting. The great Dane Lille Christensen, who plays the role of Pattinson’s father, is also very impressive and manages to inject a considerable amount of warmth and humanity into the role. While his co-stars are great, it is Pattinson who truly steals the scene in every single one of his scenes.
The Music Is Perfect
The music in Mothers and Daughters is at the very least, competent. It is not grandiose or bombastic, but it is music that one would expect to hear underscoring an emotional scene in a classical film. The music is another example of how much thought went into the making of Mothers and Daughters. It is a well-balanced soundtrack that fully commits to creating a mood and an atmosphere rather than focusing on volume alone.
Ultimately, Mothers and Daughters is a gorgeous, thought-provoking, and deeply moving film that successfully fuses together artistry, innovation, and emotion.
It is not often that a film fully lives up to the hype that surrounded its release, especially when that hype was mostly generated from fake Hollywood gossip columns who have a keen eye for a juicy tidbit. However, Mothers and Daughters is undoubtedly one of those rare films that completely delivers on all fronts. This is another demonstration of how popular the indie film scene has become and how much filmmakers are enjoying the process of making their own movies, whether big budget or small. 2019 is looking to continue the trend and bring some unique viewpoints to the big screen.