Surviving My Mother

An all-over-the-map Canuck dysfunctional family saga that's a challenge to withstand.

With:
With: Caroline Dhavernas, Ellen David, Adam J. Harrington, Veronique Le Flaguais, Colin Mochrie, Louison Danis, Christian Gegin, Frank Schorpion.

Even more broadly played and annoyingly self-conscious than helmer Emile Gaudreault’s modest-grossing “Mambo Italiano” (2003), “Surviving My Mother” is an all-over-the-map Canuck dysfunctional family saga that’s a challenge to withstand. Call it “Canadian Ugly,” a tediously faux-transgressive slog with nary an ounce of verisimilitude, risk or wit on view. Alliance Atlantis Vivafilm has no announced release plans after pic’s Oct. 19 local bow, nor should the distrib look much beyond Quebec’s borders for much save cable and disc deals.

Tired of the nonstop kvetching of her cancer-ridden mother (Veronique Le Flaguais), Clara (Ellen David) suffocates her in bed, then feels guilty about that. Vowing to get to know her own 21-year-old daughter Bianca (Caroline Dhavernas) better, mom has no idea her offspring’s a Web-cruising nympho having a torrid affair with local priest Michael (Adam J. Harrington). Gaudreault’s sledgehammer style crushes Steve Galluccio’s leaden script, while talented Drew Carey cohort Colin Mochrie is wasted as affable paterfamilias Richard. Tech package is the sole reason to endure pic, sporting vet Pierre Mignot’s crystalline lensing, Patricia Christie’s fine production design and Gino Vanelli’s “You Gotta Move.”

Surviving My Mother

Canada

Production: An Alliance Atlantis Vivafilm release (in Canada) of a Cinemaginaire production. (International sales: FunFilm Distribution, Montreal.) Produced by Denise Robert, Daniel Louis. Directed by Emile Gaudreault. Screenplay, Steve Galluccio, based on a story by Gaudreault, Galluccio.

Crew: Camera (color), Pierre Mignot; editor, Debra Karen; music, FM Le Sieur; production designer, Patricia Christie; costume designer, Ginette Magny. Reviewed at Montreal World Film Festival (competing), Aug. 28, 2007. Running time: 88 MIN.

With: With: Caroline Dhavernas, Ellen David, Adam J. Harrington, Veronique Le Flaguais, Colin Mochrie, Louison Danis, Christian Gegin, Frank Schorpion.

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