Mister Foe David Mackenzie

Mister Foe David Mackenzie
With a bit of Freudian sexual dysfunction in relation to oedipal desires, as well as the typically cinematic manifestation of said dysfunction in the scopophilic and voyeuristic manner often associated with Alfred Hitchcock, Mister Foe is referential of these roots, tossing in as many bird associations as humanly possible, but not dependent on them, crafting a story of damaged youth and disassociation. It's a strangely structured and often uncomfortable film, featuring young Hallam Foe (Jamie Bell) screwing his stepmother (Claire Forlani) and attempting coitus with Kate (Sophia Myles), a woman he believes to be his mother, when not breaking into her apartment and sniffing her dildo, amongst other things. The reason for these perversions, however, involves the mysterious death of Hallam's mother and the dominant presence of his new stepmother, who simply wants the boy out of the picture, especially after the departure of his sister Lucy (Lucy Holt). The acting across the board is particularly strong, especially from Jamie Bell and Sophia Myles, and Mackenzie's direction is certainly confident and aware of a voyeuristic vision and an unstable protagonist. However, there is a disconnect somewhere within the story that keeps the entire ordeal at a distance. This may or may not be intentional, as Hallam's passive viewing perspective is regularly on display, acting as the eyes of the film, but the audience is also subject to the same detached spectatorship when watching him, which leads to some confusion surrounding his motivations and desires. Discomfort is clearly an aim, as Mackenzie is using a subtle means to make the viewers aware of their perception, but it leads to the film being not entirely successful on a narrative level. The DVD includes some deleted scenes between Hallam and Lucy that actually deepen their relationship, in addition to some rightfully cut scenes with a vagrant. The "Behind the Scenes" featurette is a mess of incoherent interviews and set visits with stories of lost footage and shoots in cold water. It is brief and not particularly interesting. (Seville)