Goodnight Mommy won the award for European Cinematographer in 2015 at the 28th annual European Film Awards and is also Austria’s entry for Best Foreign Film at the 2016 Academy Awards.
The only problem with that whole Academy Award thing is Serverin Fiala and Veronika Franz’s film is a horror movie, and when do horror movies win Academy Awards?
(The answer is actually ten, which I found pleasantly surprising)
It’s also entirely possible that Goodnight Mommy could win another cinematography award, because it’s gorgeous and evocative of movies like The Shining, with lots of angles, empty spaces and spooky ambiance.
And twins. Let’s not forget twins (who are always sort of creepy).
As a horror movie, it chugs along promisingly as twins Lukas and Elias (played by actual twins, Lukas and Elias Schwarz)’s mother returns from plastic surgery, and they’re almost immediately suspicious of who she is, and where their real mother is.
And there are some very valid reasons for the twins to be suspicious, and if the movie had continued along that track, it would have been really awesome.
Instead, about midway I began to wonder if Severin Fiala and Veronica Franz was a pseudonym for M. Night Shyamalan because there’s an entirely unnecessary twist thrown in that–while it doesn’t ruin the movie–does undermine a lot that came before (also because it’s something you’re going to at least suspect early on, and seen done much better).