The Eyes of My Mother is beautiful to look at. First time feature director Nicolas Pesce cut his teeth helming music videos, and the stark black-and-white photography, framing, and depth of field are the film’s greatest strengths.
This has another side, as all this style masks little in the way of substance. The story of a young woman warped by horrific violence as a child, The Eyes of My Mother watches like Eli Roth trying to make a David Lynch movie and getting it wrong. (Perhaps an arthouse Martyrs is a more apt comparison.)
You can practically hear the filmmakers discussing what shocking event to include next. It tries very hard, with little larger understanding of why, and leaves lingering narrative holes. At 77-minutes, what should be lean and focused, meanders and is overlong. An intriguing SIFF watch, Pesce has the visuals on lockdown, but hopefully his next film has more meat on the bone. [Grade: C+]