Uma Thurman Does Kooky for Motherhood

Say (artisanal) cheese!
Motherhood Film
Say (artisanal) cheese!


Directed by Katherine Dieckmann
Opens October 23

Casting against type is one thing, but putting Uma Thurman—an unheralded character actress; the more extraordinary the character, the better—in the role of an unkempt New York City mom goes against the cinematic gods. And the gods are angry at Motherhood, writer/director Katherine Dieckmann's ode to the trials of Manhattan's downwardly mobile, breeding bourgeoisie. Uma, in a scruffy brown wig and dingy housedress, has been cursed with a mannered "comic" performance and that funky, flutey elocution she uses when she's trying to speak like a real person. Thurman plays Eliza, the mother of two young children and wife of a hapless editor (Anthony Edwards). Together, they live the kind of shabby-groovy life—ruled by pre-school pickups and parking shenanigans—familiar to half of Brooklyn. Dieckmann nails the look of a certain niche of urban neo-middle-class living, but the film's hyper-earnest tone and reliance on "day-from-hell" New York clichés overwhelm those details. Eliza, formerly known for her "fiercely lyrical fiction," wants to win a mommy blog contest because "nobody talks about this stuff." Alas, the deadline for the contest looms as several major dramas unfold, including the organizing of a kiddie birthday party and Eliza's swift, bloggy betrayal of a fellow mom's confidence about using her son's bath toy as a dildo.


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