Rusty Dennis (Cher) is the mother of Rocky (Eric Stoltz), a seriously deformed, but extremely intelligent and emotionally warm teenager. Rusty is a no-nonsense mother whose wild lifestyle is often at odds with her tenderness and protectiveness towards Rocky. She is determined that Rocky be given the same chances and happiness that everyone else takes for granted.
Achingly Moving Movie
I saw Mask because I like Peter Bogdanovich’s films, and also it was on a subject that I identified with. I had been told so much about Mask, how moving and how great it was. And after eventually seeing it, having been behind with my movie watching, it fully lived up to expectations. Mask is a wonderful movie, very moving and Bogdanovich’s second best movie after The Last Picture Show. Mask is beautiful to look at, with crisp cinematography and evergreen and autumnal images. The soundtrack is memorable and is careful not to be overpowering in key moments. The scripting is touching and honest, and the story has a subject that will resonate with anybody with a disfigurement, knows somebody with one or neither. More importantly, none of the film feels forced or in your face. Bogdanovich’s direction is superb, and he sensibly focuses on mother and son’s strengths and weaknesses. The two leads are superb. Whether it is her best performance or not is up for debate, but regardless Cher’s performance is wonderful. That’s not to dispute Eric Stoltz either, he is just heart-wrenching as he struggles with his disfigurements and faces death. Overall, Mask is such an achingly moving movie, and sadly one of the the 80s most overlooked films. 10/10 Bethany Cox
Some articles or short biographies about Peter Bogdanovich that I’ve read assert that his career has not amounted to as much as it could have. His 1985 masterpiece “Mask” should disprove that. It tells the story of teenager Roy L. “Rocky” Dennis (Eric Stoltz), who suffered from craniodiaphyseal dysplasia that left him with an enlarged face. He and his biker mother Rusty (Cher) do what they can to live their lives normally, understanding that it will be an uphill climb.