Theme Song: ‘night, Mother is a bleak movie about suicide, therefore it has a lot of violins. Dreary and strained violins, which go on and on.
Neon Nights is a song by Accept which is really good and might help spruce up this dreary analysis of a depressing movie.
Interesting Dated References: Taking up an interest in crossword puzzles as being a good alternative to committing suicide. Hanging out at the A&P as a good alternative to committing suicide.
Best Line: Much of the dialogue in this movie is very bleak (in a good way). Spacek goes on about the general emptiness of life, but it’s best summed up with this line — “I’m just not having a very good time.”
Social Context: There are overarching themes on the struggles with familial ties, disappointment, dissatisfaction, and a general malaise throughout the film.
Summary: Sissy Spacek wanders around her house doing various chores. She seems to have a disinterest in most of what she’s doing, but that’s because she’s not drinking beers and listening to 80s metal (Accept, Scorps, Fastway, etc.), which I find makes doing shitty household chores 500% more enjoyable and rewarding.
She’s being super anal, too, going so far as to squeeze all the toothpaste to the front of the tube. Doing that would be a whole lot more rewarding if she was running on about four ice-cold Budweiser and jamming out to Neon Nights off of Restless and Wild.
Eventually Spacek’s mom, Anne Bancroft, comes home. They have gobs and gobs of idle chatter and eventually Spacek asks her mother where her dad kept his gun. After she tracks it down, she announces to her mother she plans on killing herself later that evening.
Over the course of the next hour, Bancroft runs through a gamut of emotions in an effort to save her daughter, offering up changes she can make in order to be happy again.
On the other hand, Spacek is more concerned with teaching her mom all the daily tasks that need to be completed around the house. Bancroft relies on her for everything, including managing finances and getting groceries, so Spacek thoughtfully tries to cover all this with her before offing herself.
At times the conversation turns to Spacek’s motivations for a suicide run. The dialogue is very well done and bleak as fuck. ‘night, Mother was a well received stage play before it was made into a movie and it’s very apparent. Spacek and Bancroft are the only two characters in the movie and it appears the film was shot inside a single house. At times the setting can be claustrophobic. It seems the filmmakers added a lot of tracking Steadicam shots to give the movie a little visual depth.
After going ballistic a few more times and dredging up all kind of dirt about unhappy marriages, disappointing childhoods, and bouts of epilepsy, Bancroft finally resigns herself to acceptance. Then Spacek goes to her room and shoots herself.
Then Bancroft calls the police. Well acted, but seriously, there’s not much else to say about the depressing subject matter.
Poster and Box Art: Even the poster for ‘night, Mother looks depressing. If you ever meet anyone who is super into this movie/play you should stop hanging out with them because they are probably a sociopath who enjoy watching miserable situations play out in real time.
Availability: In print on DVD.