NewsBlaze search box Daily News header

Lullaby Movie Review: Melissa Leo As Action Mom

By     get stories by email

Fresh from her Oscar nomination for Best Actress for Frozen River, Melissa Leo once again toughs it out as a trailer park action mom in a macho hardcore world, relying on fierce maternal instinct, in South African director/co-writer Darrell Roodt's international crime thriller, Lullaby. No less frazzled than her Canadian border immigrant smuggler in Frozen River, Leo relocates to a warmer but equally toxic clime, the hotbed of hyper-violent criminal activity in the impoverished slums of Johannesburg.

Leo is Stephanie, a kindhearted middle aged waitress in a Texas diner, as she barely makes ends meet while supporting her perpetually drunk slacker boyfriend. When she receives threatening calls from Johannesburg from ruthless gangsters demanding an increasingly hefty ransom for the release from captivity of her drug addicted son there, Stephanie panics, borrows any cash she can from willing friends, and heads to South Africa to free her son single-handedly by any means necessary, though she hasn't a clue.

Repeatedly ordered around town by the thugs to multiple locations where she's directed to make good on a tab that keeps rising, if she ever wants to see her son alive again, Stephanie soon realizes she's a pawn in a cruel game. But as a devoted mom, never giving up hope. Eventually hooking up with, well a hooker named Tina (Lisa-Marie Schneider), who is simultaneously the very pregnant girlfriend of her son and the sexual property of the head combo extortionist pimp, the two women, neither of whom is in top fighting form, so to speak, pool their collective imaginations instead to outwit the malevolent con men.

The solid emotional anchor of this often fragmented and unfocused tale, Melissa Leo gives dramatic weight and substance to the somewhat sketchy material. And among the best scenes are between the two women with shattered lives grasping at survival, a frantic mother and fearless mom to be.

Peace Arch Home Entertainment
Rated R
2 1/2 stars

Prairie Miller is a multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio. Contact her through NewsBlaze.

Prairie Miller

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

When Hollywood releases a violent action film, 'loosely-based' on truth, it's certain that Hollywood is about to play fast and loose with the historical record.
Prairie Miller has a conversation with Will Smith, David Morse and Concussion director, Peter Landesman, plus news of the Zomba Prison project and Star Wars.
The Women Film Critics Circle is a gathering of national and international women's voices presenting a fresh and differently experienced viewpoint from the primarily white male dominated film criticism world.
Surreal sequences instead of theme, and pretentious vinaigrettes replace what should be a slice-of-life experience. It is art house, without the art, tedious to watch.
This true story about a transgender man suffers badly from overkill. At two hours, it's too long; the music is too dramatic; the actors try too hard and there's much too much crying.
Prairie Miller talks to Elizabeth Hurley about The Royals, and to Nina Paley, artist, filmmaker, animator, cartoonist and free culture copyright activist.

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month


Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2016 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site