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

Directed by Anne Fletcher, Hot Pursuit is a mindless diversion chock-full of the staples of the unlikely-buddies genre, like car chases, and accidental drug use.
Three big budget films. Paper Towns, Pixels and Southpaw. Teens saving a neighbor, retro-gamers saving the planet and a southpaw boxer saving himself.
A post-slavery purge of blacks resulted in a whitening of the Argentine population, as immigrants from Italy, France, Lebanon and Syria were welcomed.
Djimon Hounsou calls in to reflect on survival issues on and off screen, as an immigrant and actor of color, once jobless and homeless in Paris.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E., directed by Guy Ritchie is relatively tame, compared to his usual work, such as Snatch (2000) and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
Prairie Miller has a conversation with the star of a new Off-Broadway play, Sandra Lee, herself a victim of rape in the military as a soldier in Iraq.

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month


Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2015 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