Jeff's Reviews

Thoughts on every movie I've ever seen.

The Cement Garden (1993)

Directed by Andrew Birkin

Starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, Andrew Robertson, Alice Coulthard, Ned Birkin

Author

All the sexual problems of the world rolled into one family, the English version of American white trash. Tons of masturbation, which you don’t see much in movies. The content was so intense, there were moments when I didn’t know if I wanted to watch.

The mom dying thing was kinda like What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. The mother wasn’t a believable character–there’s no way a mother that normal would have a family that screwed up. And the same about Julie’s boyfriend. There’s no way someone that normal would hang out with a chick that screwed up.

Nice lights at the end. I like it when movies end and leave you with a sense that the story continues, that there is another chapter after the movie ends, and that we can play out the rest of that story in our head, sometimes putting a new angle on the film as a whole. The dialogue is nice and leisurely, in sharp contrast with the fast-talking of Hollywood films of the 30’s and 40’s. Funny reverse-Graduate shot and singing scene. The head-in-the-cement shot was neat. Not sure I got the rain scene.

Not sure I get the title. Is it a reference to sexual ambiguity and moral degradation in an industrialized society? I think something like “Our Dear Mum” would have been better.

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