Maternal Obsession I stumbled upon this quite by accident – awake early one morning, flipping through TV channels and I happened to find this at the opening credits. I didn’t know any of the cast, and the title (the one I saw in the listings when I checked it out was “Maternal Obsession,”) seemed a bit unimaginative, perhaps giving too much away. But I decided to watch it – aside from news, what else is there at 6 in the morning? It was a pleasant surprise. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not a masterpiece, but it’s not bad. It does rankle me by hitting on my pet peeve – a Canadian movie that has to try to pretend to be anything but Canadian by being set in the United States (in this case, Philadelphia) – but still, it’s not bad. Yeah, the title gives it away. It’s about an obsessed mom trying too hard (WAY too hard!) to control the life of her only daughter and prevent her from growing up and moving on. The whole “control freak” concept is a bit cliché and maybe overdone in movies, but the lack of originality is made up for by pretty decent performances by the two leads.
Gwyneth Walsh was actually pretty impressive as the obsessed, unbalanced and mentally ill mom, who simply can’t bear to let her daughter have any sort of life, going to extremes when necessary to break up her daughter’s friendships and relationships, trying to isolate her and prevent her from ever leaving home. She captured the essential creepiness of the character well. Nicholle Tom was also pretty good as her daughter Lily, controlled by her mom’s manipulations and guilt-trips, gradually becoming more and more aware of just how truly disturbed the woman is.
This is moderately suspenseful, although the ending struck me as a little bit of an anti-climax. Given how these types of movies always develop, there’s a sense of nervousness about poor Binky (Lily’s little dog) right from the beginning of the movie that really does manage to heighten the suspense! All things considered, it’s not that bad.
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