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Ma Mere' (Unrated)

2.6 out of 5 stars 82 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Based on George Bataille's posthumous and controversial novel: When his father dies, a young man is introduced by his attractive, amoral mother to a world of hedonism and depravity.

Special Features

  • Alternate ending
  • A deleted scene
  • Interviews with director Christophe Honore and actress Emma de Caunes
  • Trailer

Product Details

  • Actors:  Louis Garrel, Emma de Caunes  Isabelle Huppert
  • Directors: Christophe Honoré
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NC-17
    Adults Only
  • Studio: TLA Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: May 19, 2004
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000AYELEC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,995 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Ma Mere' (Unrated)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 27, 2005
Format: DVD
'Ma mère' is a film on the edge. Director Christophe Honoré (who gave us the little jewel 'Closer to Leo') has adapted a tough book by Georges Bataille that explores incest, sadomasochism, love, family dysfunction, and nebulous moral values of conflicted adolescents caught in the web of sexual investigation. It is filled with difficult scenes and ideas and certainly is not a film for the faint of heart or spirit, but at the same time it is a brave film depicting the dissociative state of sexual mind to which we've come after the influences of such thinkers as Bataille, Foucault, Derida, Gide, and others. Christophe Honoré captures an impossible story extremely well on the screen!

17-year-old Pierre (Louis Garrel of `The Dreamers') is a spiritually challenged adolescent home from his Catholic school to be with his mother Hélène (Isabelle Huppert) whom he idolizes and loves and see his father (Philippe Duclos) who is distant in every sense. Hélène finds it necessary to inform Pierre of her background (her husband raped her when she was very young, causing such anguish that she has become addicted to a life of immorality as a means of escape), a means of warning him of what close association with her could mean. Pierre is blind to all things negative about Hélène and with the news of his father's death, he demands to be included in the wild sexual life of Hélène and her female lover Réa (Joana Preiss). Hélène is sexually attracted to Pierre and elects to include him in her games of voyeurism (watching Pierre during intercourse with Réa, introducing him to the shallow and compulsive Hansi (Emma de Caunes), mutilation, and all forms of debauchery.
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You've got to respect Isabelle Huppert. She does not avoid shock or controversy in her choice of films and her performances in them. "Ma Mere" could not have been made without her, or at least not made as unblinkingly. Heterosexuality in all its permutations, save that of love and commitment, provides the subtext for this adaptation of Georges Bataille's postwar French novel. A teenager is just coming of age and coming home from boarding school where his hedonist mother is, literally, laying in wait. The novel's narrative, updated to today on a sandy vacation island, would be right at home in an ancient Greek theatre.

As she was in "The Piano Teacher," Huppert is cast opposite a man (Louis Garrell) young enough to be her son, which is precisely the point. The picture is really about him and how he is pimped out and ultimately seduced by his mother. He parades about naked and, in some perverse way, seems to be asking for it. Indeed, all the sexual couplings occur in full view of others. The eroticism (S&M, bondage, incest) never crosses over into pornography, but it just might at any time, giving "Ma Mere" a momentum it otherwise lacks. The bodies and locales are so beautiful it's hard to take your eyes away, even if your mind is off wandering a bit.
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This movie combines some very strange personalities with a very strange plot line from what I was used to in my normal domesticated films I usually see. I enjoy the movie and every time I watch it I find another moving part of the emotional roller coaster within the story line. Incest, sex, and the quest for more sex all rolled into a twisted story is what you can expect...but done with a deep and dark rooted view of one young mans search for life. Many emotions play out in this with many dark and low points that may leave you speechless. Not for the overly religious or those that think this is a straight up porn film...you will see some nudity and sex, and you could be offended by the incestuous tones of the movie, but again this is not pornographic, just telling a twisted story.
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Perhaps I lack the vision or enlightenment to appreciate fine art, or maybe I'm just too American to grasp the nuances of foreign cinema. Either way, I guess it does not matter, which is essentially how I felt about this movie as well. I tried to remain interested, clinging to the notion that all of the unappealing personalities, underlying sexual currents and religious/emotional conflicts would evolve into a meaningful resolution or at least something worthy of later thoughtful reflection. This did not happen, or perhaps it did and I missed it. Either way, I guess it doesn't matter.
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Good solid film about the complexities of relationships. Some of the subject matter may be offensive for the squeamish. But if you can get past it there are some interesting issues being discussed. I only gave it stars because of its....well I don't want to spoil anything, let's just say I did not agree with the ending.
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If you are into unromantic, insensitive T&A, then this film is for you. I definitely don't mind watching sex or viewing nudity, especially when they show full frontal of the men. But honestly the sex was so, so unattached, as well as S&M which I certainly don't care for, I might as well have been watching a porn movie. I really was misled by a particular glowing review. Acting? Well, you can judge for yourself if you must and the 'storyline'? Again it could have been a fascinating presentation on the subject of incestuous lust (note I don't say love), but I guess it got lost - straight from the beginning. Watch a porn film, you're better off since at least it doesn't have to claim any depth to it! How unfortunate there is no fast forward button available on rentals.
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