‘Mother, Couch’ Review: Ewan McGregor In A Kafkaesque Family Drama Set In An IKEA Universe Where Ellen Burstyn Becomes A Couch Potato – Toronto Film Festival


Take a little bit of Kafka, throw in some Buñuelian realism, add a dose of John Cheever (circa The Swimmer) after which hand the recipe over to a first-time feature-making Swedish director with fond recollections of a childhood spent in IKEA furnishings shops, then put collectively an A-Listing solid, and also you basically have Mom, Sofa.

A World Premiere this weekend on the Toronto Movie Pageant, this actually surreal, metaphysical thoughts journey is not going to be to everybody’s style, however the solid, together with a few Oscar winners, will make it go down simpler even when a few of it extra intently resembles a thespian train on the Actor’s Studio, reasonably than a serious movement image. It actually is watchable, and author/director Niclas Larsson makes probably the most of his adaptation of Jerker Virdborg’s e book, Mamma I Couch which facilities on a seemingly regular outing to a furnishings retailer however turns right into a nightmarish nervous breakdown for 48-year-old David (Ewan McGregor), son of his mom (Ellen Burstyn) who is simply recognized that means, and who has determined to plop herself on a inexperienced sofa on sale in a division of the higher ground and won’t stand up, regardless of his most valiant efforts to get her to depart. Alongside the best way his siblings, even his personal youngsters, take part together with older brother Gruffudd (Rhys Ifans) and unimpressed sister Linda (Lara Flynn Boyle). All of it turns into a really dysfunctional household affair with secrets and techniques, lies, and revelations galore because the mom admits she didn’t wish to have any of those youngsters, had 5 abortions to do away with them and these have been those, particularly David, who held on to her uterus for expensive about-to-be-a-life. Mom is a no-nonsense, heading to senility(???) girl who appears stuffed with regrets, and who, knocking on 90, wears a blonde flip wig that appears like one thing a teeny bopper might need worn in Seashore Blanket Bingo.

Navigating this household disaster is the smart retailer supervisor Bella (a terrific Taylor Russell) who’s much more understanding than she needs to be, even welcoming them to remain the evening within the bed room part, and even having a shower in entrance of David who arms her a towel earlier than it’s his flip (individually in fact) to leap within the bathe. In bathrobes later, the pair have a coronary heart to coronary heart on life’s that means throughout a candlelit dinner. When David awakes the subsequent morning he runs into the shop’s proprietor Marco (F. Murray Abraham) , and later his twin brother Marcus (F. Murray Abraham), the latter utilizing the specter of a buzzsaw to cancel the low cost deal on a mattress his brother made with David.

Okay so all of it will get actually weird from this level on, and with out providing spoilers, I’ll solely say a key scene entails a storm at sea raging and engulfing the shop as David, understandably, wrestles immediately with lifelong mommy points.

The appearing, as you may anticipate, is the primary attraction right here and all of them leap in and go for it like that is Shakespeare. McGregor is at all times on the cash even in moments that appear emotionally excessive. Ifans, his character extra laid again and seemingly serious about shallow delights, is his regular professional self, and Boyle radiates lifelong frustrations along with her siblings and Mom. Russell is a pleasant breath of contemporary air regarding characters that needs to be institutionalized. Abraham performs twins on a stage someplace between Jeremy Irons and Hayley Mills. Regardless that I paid nothing to see it at TIFF, Burstyn’s efficiency is definitely worth the worth of admission. This 90-year-old appearing treasure will get a really unusual position to sink her enamel into and goes for the jugular. Sensational.

Larsson is clearly a filmmaker, based mostly on his previous Brief Movie work and now this, who shuns actuality however oddly websites as inspiration for the movie, Sydney Pollock’s 1969 They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, a downbeat despair era-set film about broke souls concerned in a marathon dancing contest with a view to make a dime. Actually can be a head-scratching double function with a view to appropriately spot the connection. Brother, are you able to spare a sofa?

Producers are Ella Bishop, Pau Suris, Alex Black, Sara Murphy. It’s on the lookout for distribution.

Title: Mom, Sofa
Pageant: Toronto Movie Pageant
Gross sales Agent: UTA
Director/Screenplay: Niclas Larsson
Solid: Ewan McGregor, Ellen Burstyn, Rhys Ifans, Lara Flynn Boyle, Taylor Russell, F. Murray Abraham, Lake Bell
Working Time: 1 Hour and 36 minutes

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