HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Avengers: Endgame
Vanishing Act
Critters Attack!
Prison on Fire
Dragged Across Concrete
Do the Right Thing
Hellboy
Pond Life
Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, The
Third Wife, The
Shazam!
Follow Me
Leto
Fugitive Girls
Missing Link
Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, The
Pet Sematary
Oh... Rosalinda!!
Dumbo
Kaleidoscope
Night Is Short, Walk On Girl
Knight of Shadows: Between Yin and Yang, The
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich
Klute
Meow
Killer Crocodile
Nutcracker Prince, The
Secret World of Og, The
Benjamin
Fifth Cord, The
Man Could Get Killed, A
Cyborg 009: Kaiju War
Heavy Trip
Nightmare Weekend
Blue Ice
Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday, The
Incident, The
Hell's Angels
Heaven and Earth
Flatliners
   
 
Newest Articles
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
Things Have Changed: Films You'd Be Insane to Make Now
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
   
 
  Bringing Up Bobby Conning their way across AmericaBuy this film here.
Year: 2011
Director: Famke Janssen
Stars: Milla Jovovich, Bill Pullman, Rory Cochrane, Marcia Cross, Spencer List, Ray Prewitt, Justin Hall
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Mother and son con artist team, Olive (Milla Jovovich) and ten year old Bobby (Spencer List) travel across Oklahoma pulling outrageous scams whilst staying one step ahead of the law. A Ukranian immigrant escaping a troubled past, Olive tries to be a good mother by encouraging Bobby to study hard for a brighter future, even though the boy’s behavioural problems stir up no end of trouble at school. When wealthy businessman Kent Thomas (Bill Pullman) accidentally hits Bobby with his car, he and his kindly wife Mary (Marcia Cross) go out of their way to help the boy and his mother. Having lost their own son only a short while ago, the pair happily step in to take care of Bobby after Olive is unexpectedly hauled away by the police. Eight months later, Olive leaves prison determined to stay on the straight and narrow in order to regain custody of her beloved son.

Written and directed by Famke Janssen, onetime Bond girl in Goldeneye (1995) and star of X-Men (2000) and Taken (2008), Bringing Up Bobby emerges an awkward though not uninteresting hybrid of earnest social drama with a style of quirky midwestern comedy not far removed from Napoleon Dynamite (2004). On this evidence Janssen has an endearingly eccentric sense of humour as she stages some strange comic scenes as when Olive’s disreputable sidekick, Walt (Rory Cochrane, who previously co-starred with Jovovich in Richard Linklater’s outstanding Dazed and Confused (1994)) adopts a Cockney alter-ego called Gerard Butler (!) to convince insurance investigators about Bobby’s injuries. Nevertheless the amoral antics of the self-satisfied protagonists are often less amusing than Janssen evidently believes them to be.

Although far from autobiographical the film nevertheless draws extensively upon Janssen’s own observations as a European immigrant in the USA. It presents a cockeyed view of rural Americana filtered through the sardonic yet pop culture inflected perspective of an East-European chancer, reinforced by the soundtrack bookended by Jovovich’s storming cover of the Ike and Tina Turner standard “Proud Mary” (sung in her native Ukranian) and the closing version of “Amazing Grace” performed by The Flaming Lips. There is a faintly patronising aspect to the film’s portrayal of mid-westerners as obese, bible-thumping hicks who easily fall for Olive’s over-the-top con routines implying stupidity makes them deserving victims.

However, the cartoonish tone of the first half gradually gives way to a more compellingly dramatic second half. Janssen’s unfocused screenplay omits some crucial background information (it glosses over Olive’s eight month incarceration and reveals little about Bobby’s father who plays a crucial role in events) but the twin plot strands detailing the effect Bobby has on Kent and Mary and Olive’s sad realisation that walking away from her son might be the best thing for all concerned provide many of the more sincere, tender and moving moments. Still, the film gives no sense that Bobby regards the Thomases as anything more than a meal ticket. Despite an able performance from young Spencer List, Bobby emerges something of a smart-mouthed brat. His obnoxious pranks may well prevent some viewers from growing involved in his plight. Janssen draws lively, vivid performances from a fine ensemble cast spearheaded by a charismatically vivacious turn from Milla Jovovich, clearly relishing the chance to flex her acting muscles once again away from the increasingly vapid Resident Evil movies.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1160 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: