By Luke Y. Thompson in Movies
Friday, January 18, 2013 at 6:00 am
Where the movie excels is in playing on actual anxieties: as mentioned, the financial crisis thing is brief, but the main story draws not only on the fears of adoptive parents that the new kids will always see you as another, but also on childhood fears that by moving on you are somehow dishonoring a dead parent who wouldn't want you to attach to anybody else. Plus Mama is horrifying looking when revealed, and that always helps. And the ending is really a bit fucked up, thanks in large part to Mama's aforementioned mental impairments and unusual judgment.
I can't imagine it'll hurt Chastain in the Oscar race - I'm not being facetious when I say this performance demonstrates more range than anything else I've seen her in lately. The Lionsgate-style green filter on so many shots may not be necessary, but who cares: you want your date to jump into your arms, and this will do it.
Also, you may get nightmares of your own. Bonus!