Mammoth review ?½

Lukas Moodysson's first English speaking movie is an overlong bore - nothing but an exercise in mundanity for the first hour and a half with some unconvincing dramatics thrown in for the remaining quarter. Staying awake for its duration is a task you will have to gird yourself for.

Gael Garcia Bernal and Michelle Williams play Leo and Ellen, a well-off couple with a young daughter called Jackie (Nyweide). They live in a spacious New York apartment - she's a doctor and he's a gaming website designer. He and a colleague fly to Thailand to sign a $45 million deal while she looks after their child with the help of Philippino nanny Gloria (Necessito). She has two young sons in her home country but phones them regularly and sends money. They live in a run-down and dilapidated area and one night her elder boy Salvador (Nicdao) ventures out on his bike and runs into some trouble he should have avoided. Meanwhile, Ellen is having problems of her own, both at work and in wanting her daughter's affections while Leo becomes increasingly bored with his extended stay abroad and looks for something to take his mind off things and liven him up. He certainly finds it.

Moodysson has a big canvas to play on here, addressing global connectivity as it were, but the slow funereal pacing, along with the low-key performances and undynamic direction, make this an almighty slog to sit through. One can't fault his worthy intentions but the result is one of the most tedious films of the year.

Mammoth at IMDb

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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