Mammoth (15)

Starring: Gael García Bernal, Michelle Williams

Reviewed,Anthony Quinn
Friday 05 November 2010 01:00
Comments

The career of the Swedish director Lukas Moodysson is enough to make a hardened film critic weep.

Ten years on from his magnificent commune comedy Together ( The Independent's film of 2001!) it pleases him to offer this unutterably pious and self-important dud about Western indifference to the struggles of the Third World. And by the way, when did Gael García Bernal become such a bad actor? He plays an internet games designer who takes a deluxe business trip to Thailand, while his surgeon wife (Michelle Williams) stays in New York worrying about her lack of playtime with their seven-year-old daughter.

In parallel unfolds the story of their Filipino nanny Gloria (Marife Necesito), saving all the money she earns to make a better life for her two young sons back home, where many workers end up, literally, on a garbage dump. Moodyson shuttles between the self-indulgent prodigality of the New York couple and the hardscrabble lives they peripherally touch, yet does so in such a hand-wringing, sentimentalised fashion that its attitude feels as condescending as the Western softies it purports to rebuke. I can't imagine anyone, other than Bono, liking this film.

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