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Emily tells her son Paul, now six years old, the story of his life - how she sought motherhood, to be a mom without a husband, to raise a perfect, exceptional child, whom she calls Loverboy. In flashbacks told around a pretend car trip they take - so he can practice driving - we see Paul's infancy, their fun together (sometimes with a manic edge), and his growing desire to go to school and be with other kids. We also flash back to Emily's childhood, with parents so bound up with each other that she's virtually ignored. Is Emily going to be able to let Paul be with others? Or, can she, as in the David Bowie song she sings at a school talent show, construct a life on Mars? Written by
Fitting in with the outside world, respectability, suitability, conformity, were never high on my priority list; neither was normalcy. I admit: I cultivated arrogance. The world would be our school; I wanted to learn it and teach it to you.
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I can't say I'm very surprised by the rating this great movie gets, nor am I shocked to see some moronic comments on how the storyline is "horrible" or "gross". The topic and development of the story are controversial and sensitive to say the least and it's a sad reality that people just can't get pass their judgemental posturing and try to see things from another point of view.
Kyra Sedgwick carries the movie on her shoulders from start to finish. Not only does she give poetry and the right amount of quirkiness to a character that could have been nightmarish otherwise but she really manages to convey the love her character feels for her son effortlessly so much so that the transition to her psychotic obsession is seamless. Even if the plot is made in such a way that it's impossible for you to empathize with her, you certainly feel for her.
The direction is remarkable and adds to the magic of the world Emily creates for her son. Bacon did a great job of going back and forth in time without being confusing, which was a major challenge with the script and the editing works perfectly at revealing Emily's character and story bit by bit without divulging more than necessary and all the while framing what's important to understand her behavior.
It's never tacky, nor judgemental, nor is it complacent. It's a story of love and how far it can go. Recommended.
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