The list of charges against this watery café au lait of a crime caper is extensive — wearisome ethnic stereotypes, cop-movie clichés, awkward pacing, a labored plot — but the chief transgression is that it wastes the time and talent of one of the supreme screen actors of our time.
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Cinematically speaking, this is all low-hanging fruit. Maybe such unimaginative choices wouldn’t stand out so much if Huppert were herself not such an inventive and riveting performer. She is, and Mama Weed doesn’t really deserve her.
Mama Weed is intended to wash over you, leaving good vibes in its wake, but it doesn’t challenge Isabelle Huppert or the audience.
While Salomé isn’t anything but a mainstream director, he’s a good one, keeping the movie percolating up to its crowd-pleasing finale and coda.
[Ms. Huppert] is fascinating again, but in a wonderfully nimble way that could be considered campy if her style weren’t so assured and her performance weren’t so witty and precise.
Textually, problems emerge from the myriad supporting characters, virtually all of whom play like narrative props. The script seems uninterested in its conflict; the filmmaking lacks the style to glue its pieces together.
Although Salomé’s lower-key approach to the material occasionally creates the sense that moments of ripe comedy have been left untapped, as well as a low-key ending that might have benefited from a final twist, there’s plenty to appreciate.
As Mama Weed makes deliciously apparent, where its iconic star goes, we will gladly follow.
Its the laugh-out-loud brazen chutzpah of it all and Huppert’s cocksure, casual and lie-on-the-fly amorality in the title role that gives Mama Weed her buzz. Huppert has never been sunnier or funnier.