Tuesday, August 29, 2023

When a mom tries to be a detective

Hilary Swank is 49 years old. Jack Reynor is 31. That means if Hilary Swank is going to be believable playing  Reynor's mom, she would have had to given birth to him when she was 18. Possible of course, but Swank doesn't exactly look like the mom of a 31-year- old police officer, which is what Reynor plays in The Good Mother. Confused about the relationship at first, I adjusted. But was it worth the bother? A misfire of a thriller, The Good Mother tells the story of Swank's Marissa, an upstate New York journalist who tries to solve the murder of her younger son, a troubled kid who seems to have gotten lost in the drug trade. Turns out the late son's girlfriend (Olivia Cooke) is pregnant with a baby that will be Marissa's grandchild. It's always a bad idea for reporters to play cop, especially if the reporter happens to be drinking too much, which is the case with Marissa.  That doesn't stop Marissa from joining forces with Cooke's Paige as they try to find the killer. Director Miles Joris-Peyrafitte takes a down-and-dirty approach to Albany, the city where this dime-a-dozen drama occurs. But atmospherics can't mask an increasingly unbelievable story that, at one point, finds Marissa racing through the streets carrying a baby in a car seat. Not the best way to trail someone. Might as well ask someone to play football while pushing a stroller. The movie's central mystery remains murky, even after a big reveal, and The Good Mother joins the ranks of darkly hued thrillers that vanish into their own gloom. 

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