A unique perspective on mental illness and mother/daughter relationships (by donnellymatt)
I definitely did not find this to be one of the most bizarre and incomprehensible films I've ever seen. It just happens to be coming from a unique perspective and requires a bit of focus.All three lead performances are incredible, I agree with a previous comment that they're all Oscar worthy. Certainly, Helena Howard is a force and in my book gives one of the best performances I've seen this year. She has an incredibly bright future ahead of her and I look forward to seeing more of her.I just love the way Josephine Decker's mind works. I've enjoyed her previous films and <more>
they seem to just get better with each release. Cinematography, pacing, narrative, performances, sound design; all of the elements here are intricate and purposeful and captured with precision.I can understand someone not enjoying the film because it is not a straight forward drama, it's brimming with anxiety and confusion and youthful naiveté all of which are there for good reason and does require a certain level of dedication as a viewer, but if you can give it a chance and take the time to digest the emotional roller coaster that is Madelin'e mind I think you'll be happy you did.
Holy moly this is some gurlesque genius (by ajspring-367-951144)
The shifting relationships between intimacy, need and power in both interpersonal and socio-political structural relationships are wisely staged in this movie. Not unlike a feminine multiracial reinterpretation of Sartre's Nausea, the "grossness of closeness" coexists in the same home as dazzling creativity. Retrobution and tenderness mutate to form constant relational negotiation - this movie may be called surreal, but it feels mighty real.
Cinematography of dissociation (by DennisMatthies)
A nomination for the cinematographer, the editor and perhaps Helena Howard. We seldom maybe never escape the inner life of Helena's character, Madeline, who suffers from bouts of severe dissociation. Beneath the dissociation, a half-dozen psychiatric disorders are suggested, some inflected by her mother. Watching Helena fade into and out of dissociation was genuinely therapeutic, for me. For a general audience? Judging from the response last night, I'd say: the relentlessly expressive cinematography and sound track interferes with a build-up of emotion or clarity of narration, for <more>
most folks. But creatives and especially actors will love the energy and forgive the chaos, mostly because of a spectacular ending: here's what it feels like to turn life into art. And perhaps begin to heal.
Perfect demonstration of dissociation through camerawork and sound design and terrific performances. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie.I especially loved how the film was not about a mentally ill person facing a catastrophic event, but instead a mentally ill person facing common teenage stressors. This brought the film an authenticity that most films about mental illness seem to lack. July and Parker were exquisite. Howard's performance was also very good, but she had a lot to chew. An excellent debut, and I'm excited to see more from her.The climax wasn't the most bone-chilling <more>
thing I've seen in the theaters this year, but it was still a fun and intriguing end to a movie. Everything fell into place and ended in the way it should. Very satisfying.Lastly, I'd like to give some credit to the trailer's creators. I'm a firm believer that there has never really been a good trailer in the history of film, and Madeline's Madeline comes pretty close to disproving that. Going into the theater, I really didn't know what this movie was about. It was so refreshing to be excited for something and still surprised by it when it came out. I hope that whoever made this trailer makes many, many more.
Sometimes you just have to see it to believe it (by CinePendejo)
I. AM. SHOOKETH!!This is easily the most unsettling, transporting, and densely-packed art pieces I've ever seen this year. It's one of those rare movies where it takes multiple themes - about artistic integrity, exploiting pain for profit, mental illness, family stability, overcoming the struggles of being a female, and mother-and-daughter dynamics - and blends them into one ambiguous, anarchic whole. It's one of those movie where it makes the case not whether or not you get it, but whether we trust our subjectivity to make us care nonetheless.The movie is centered around <more>
Madeline, a young teenager diagnosed with a mental illness that triggers her to commit multiple episodes at almost everyone she sees, one of which is her single mother played by a wonderful Miranda July. She feels trapped and frustrated with her domestic life so she attends a theatre class, where she's allowed to lash out and act as outlandish as she wants, instantly fostering a niche of channeling her disability for what should or should not be considered as "talent". Along the way, because it still is a coming of age movie, we see her come of age as she questions her sexuality, the weight of how her actions affect those around her, and her place in the world going forward.Josephine Decker, a indie curiosity that for sure gained my attention, frames the movie in her perspective, regulating the camera firmly locked onto our heroine, tuning the music as pandemonium of the senses, and often cutting randomly through multiple shots and images. It's a fascinating example of modern abstract cinema, one that delves into the characters potential insanity yet trusts that we empathize with a broken soul in need to express herself.The movie also commentates on how we package and sell someones emotional pain and call it art. Thankfully, the movie is so free-wheeling that it never bothers to become too didactic or preachy. In one of the films best moments, Madeline reenacts an argument she had with her mom that not only might be the most harrowing cases of self-revelation but one of the most honest and achingly tangible view of her life. It's then followed by the theatre director stunned by the performance, but wishes to adapt the performance in her vision in well-intentioned but wrongheaded means. And THATS followed by a anxiety-driven performance act that further highlights the main point of what art is supposed to be.Art, like MADELINE'S MADELINE, isn't meant to be deciphered or filtered through a simpler perspective, but interpreted as what it is by many other perspectives. We live and breathe and experience in our own way, and analyzing art through our own lens crafts something truly special. We feel the artists happiness, pain, and self-expression in some way or another and we don't need someone spelling it out for us.MADELINE'S MADELINE is a wonderful film to behold. It's no doubt what I'm saying is a cliche, but this is one of those film that makes me point my finger and shout "This! This is why I love film". An achievement in bold filmmaking as well as a magnifying showcase for newcoming actress Helena Howard I mean all I gotta say is Elsie Fisher should eat her heart out it's one of those movies jam packed with interpretations and emotional rapture that I'll never forget it for quite a long time.One of the best of the year. Believe the hype.
Arthouse filmmaking at its most perplexing and rewarding (by DJKwa)
//Revelation Film Festival Review//Arthouse films are often labelled with different adjectives that can split audiences. What some might label as pretentious, others might consider as a masterpiece. Madeleine's Madeleine oscillates between both sentiments but through its sheer force of its own conviction proves to be a startling achievement.The story follows Madeleine an excellent debut from Helena Howard , a young performer recovering from a recent mental breakdown. As her personal life starts taking on a central role in a play she is rehearsing, Madeleine's grip on reality becomes <more>
increasingly tenuous. The lingering question is: is it art imitating reality or the other way around? Madeleine's Madeleine is an unconventional take on mental illness, but what part of mental illness is conventional?
Nervously balancing on the edge of the abyss. Subordinate plot. Moods, atmosphere and feelings get the space. And the attention. A bunch of wonderful characters, that I want to get to know. Meant to find you all these years. Go see!