Mammoth

Isabelle Adjani and Gerard Depardieu in Mammuth

Isabelle Adjani and Grard Depardieu in Mammuth

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Time Out says

Wed Nov 18 2009

Maybe you know these Soho people: Leo (Garca Bernal) is a superwealthy Internet-game designer about to make even more money on a deal in Thailand. So his wife can’t cook; she’s a sexy surgeon who looks a lot like—and is, indeed, played by—Michelle Williams. They have a cute daughter who seems to be doing fine despite her parents’ workaholic ways, no doubt thanks to the doting efforts of live-in Filipino nanny Gloria (Necesito), whose own children back home have it rough. (We view the crippling poverty and nod soberly.) Meanwhile, Leo, on permanent vacation, has to consider the age-old predicament of falling for one’s Bangkok hooker. Problems!

Painfully, it must be noted that the writer-director is Sweden’s Lukas Moodysson, who, with films like Together (2001) and Lilya 4-Ever (2002), was arguably cinema’s most full-hearted humanist. (At least that’s what Ingmar Bergman thought.) Moodysson hasn’t exactly descended to Babel-level pabulum with Mammoth, his first foray into English; these characters are too fascinatingly thorny, and he still has a supple way with a pulse-throbbing dance tune. But the plot strands are too neatly tied and it’s way beneath his level. He’s only 40 years old. Expect a rebound.—Joshua Rothkopf

Opens Fri; IFC. Find showtimes

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