Margaret, a divorced woman living alone in Dublin, learns that her teenage son has been found dead. Enduring her unsettling grief privately, she escapes daily to the local swimming pool. One day at the pool she runs into Joe, a homeless youth she found injured late one night in the deserted laneway behind her work. Margaret offers Joe a room in her house and an unorthodox relationship starts to develop between them. Margaret’s ex-husband Matt begins to turn up randomly in Margaret’s life. As Margaret and Joe’s mutual reliance grows their tentative trust is threatened by the escalation of Matt’s grieving rage and Joe’s involvement with a gang of violent youths.
Rachel Griffiths gets an overdue showcase in this elegant, elliptical character study of a shuttered divorcee and a feral delinquent. Rachel Griffiths has been so egregiously underused on the big screen in recent years that her mere presence in a leading role is reason enough to commend “Mammal.” That Irish writerdirector Rebecca Daly’s film proves as quietly, uncompromisingly complicated as the actress it showcases makes it worthy of celebration. An elliptical essay in withheld grief and reluctant desire, “Mammal” finds an improbable partner for Griffiths’ peacable loner in 22-year-old livewire Barry Keoghan’s bristling delinquent; their ambiguously sensual attraction is one of
several unarticulated emotional currents coursing through a story that resists obvious psychological cues at every turn.
The 31st annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival kicks off this weekend in the glorious American Riviera, with awards, special guests, celebrity tributes to the likes of Sylvester Stallone and Johnny Depp and, of course, films galore. While it’s impossible to see absolutely everything on offer (trust me, I’ve tried), here are some films to keep an eye out for that I’ve had a chance to take a look at. I’ll be updating the coverage as the fest goes on.
Director Rebecca Daly ventures where few dare to trod in the Oedipal nightmare “Mammal,” featuring an outstanding Rachel Griffiths (“Six Feet Under,” “Hillary and Jackie”) as Margaret, a divorced Dubliner who is rocked by the news that her long-missing teenage son has been found dead. In her subdued grief, Margaret develops an odd friendship of sorts with a homeless young gang member named Joe (Barry Keoghan). While at first her offer to allow Joe to use her son’s abandoned room seems borne from a need to turn tragedy into goodness, Margaret gradually veers into twisted “Vertigo” territory, dressing Joe in her son’s clothes as prelude to a twisted sexual draw and a means to assuage the torment of loss.( THE WASHINGTON TIMES )
Rachel Griffiths, Mammal: Griffiths is one of the most subtle actresses working today, and her performance helps ground Rebecca Daly’s gritty drama about a Dublin woman who learns of her estranged son’s death and takes in a tough, homeless street kid almost as a way to make up for it. That’s a premise that could easily go off the rails. Mammal isn’t the kind of somber, soft movie that dances around the thorny issues at play, but rather one mired in blood, guts, anguish, violence, and sex, and it takes a couple of big, bold narrative turns. But Griffiths, with her terse, tense presence and her physicality, helps sell the melodrama.
Rachel Griffiths and the young Barry Keoghan star in this emotionally complex feature film
about a single woman trying to cope with the loss of the son she abandoned by helping a
troubled soul. More heart-wrenching than tear-jerking, it’s a cinematic study of what it
means to be a parent.
Australian actress Rachel Griffiths gives a tightly focused performance, tinged with sadness
and danger, in Rebecca Daly’s new film, about a Dublin woman, Margaret, who takes in a
street kid (Barry Keoghan, cuddly and menacing) after she learns that the son she walked out
on years ago has gone missing. A film about how grief can morph into a rapacious
hunger, Mammal frankly, unblinkingly depicts some pretty risqué stuff.
Irish writer-director Rebecca Daly’s film, starring Rachel Griffiths, is a gritty feature
focusing on loss and redemption. The landscape of grief encompasses both universal and very personal territory, realms that Dublin-set drama Mammal explores with curiosity and compassion, although not always with
narrative precision. AMC Networks' Sundance Channel Global secured broadcast rights for
multiple territories at the festival and theatrical distributors may take an interest as well, despite
the film’s minimalist style and subdued performances.
The second feature from director Rebecca Daly and screenwriting partner Glenn Montgomery follows The Other Side Of Sleep (2011) with a further intense exploration of grief, loss and isolation. More approachable than their dreamy, elliptical debut, it is still a dour, slow-burning drama that is more likely to attract widespread festival attention
than significant theatrical suitors. The subject matter and treatment suggest some commercial parallels with Toni Colette/Jack Reynor tale Glassland. In Mammal, sensitively judged, totally committed performances from Rachel Griffiths and Barry Keoghan carry a tale that edges towards Greek tragedy in its treatment of the fragile, twisted bond between mothers and sons.
Australian actress Rachel Griffiths usually inhabits gregarious characters but plays against type in Mammal as a woman who loses a son and weaves a complicated relationship with a teenage boy. “My co-writer Glenn [Montgomery] had this idea to write a film about a woman who did not know how to parent,” says director Rebecca Daly, who hopes some of the protagonist’s choices will trigger lively conversations. “I think generally speaking women are judged more harshly
than men in relation to the way they parent (or don’t parent) their children.” Daly, who directed 2011 drama The Other Side Of Sleep, appreciated the range that Griffiths invested in the character. “For me the tension between Rachel’s nature and Margaret’s character is one of the most interesting elements of the film.”
Australia’s Rachel Griffiths, who won an Oscar nomination for Hilary and Jackie, will head the cast for Mammal, to be directed by Rebecca Daly, whose debut feature The Other Side of Sleep premiered at the Cannes Film Festival Directors Fortnight. The film is an unusual love story between a woman who has lost her son in tragic circumstances and a young homeless. Playing opposite Griffiths will be Irish actor Barry Keoghan...( CINEUROPA )
|Running Time||99 min|
|Directed by||Rebecca Daly|
Sundance Channel Global has acquired five features from this year’s Sundance Film Festival
and will exclusively premiere the titles shortly after the festival. They include Mammal, The Fits, Spa Night, Jacqueline (Argentine) and My Friend In The Park (Mi Amiga Del Parque). Mammal has been acquired from Picture Tree International Central and Eastern Europe, Iberia, Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa.
The Sundance Channel has picked up five movie titles from the ongoing Sundance Film
Festival, including Irish pre-festival favorite and dramatic competition entry “Mammal.”
The five acquired films will premiere exclusively on Sundance Channel Global, shortly after
the festival this year. Rights vary according to the different markets where the channel operates.
“Mammal,” directed by Rebecca Daly, was acquired for Central and Eastern Europe, Iberia,
Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa. Sales were handled by Germany’s
The new film from Irish writer-director Rebecca Daly, Mammal, is a smart, sensitive story
about family, love, grief, and parenting. Rachel Griffiths stars as Margaret, a middle-aged
woman who lives alone, but for a lodger. When her ex-husband (Michael McElhatton) calls her
to tell her that the son that she left years ago has gone missing, it’s like a bomb has been dropped
into her life.
The Sundance Film Festival is about to start up, and Indiewire has an exclusive clip for "Mammal," which looks to be a fierce competitor in this year's World Drama Competition. The intimate character drama is a co-production between Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands and stars Academy Award nominee Rachel Griffiths ("Muriel's Wedding," "Six Feet Under"). Griffiths plays Margaret, a divorcee in Dublin recovering from the recent death of her teenaged son. She finds solace at a local swimming pool, where she soon meets Joe (Barry Keoghan), a homeless youth at odds with a local gang. Margaret lets him stay at her home, where the two find themselves to be kindred spirits in their isolation from the rest of the world. However, their bond is threatened when Margeret's violent ex-husband, Mark (Michael McElhatton), returns into her life.
In this year’s dozen offerings we have names we normally associate with Cannes in The Misfortunates‘ Felix van Groeningen (Belgica), The Other Side of Sleep‘s Rebecca Daly (Mammal) and A Stray Girlfriend‘s Ana Katz (Mi Amiga del Parque).
Mammal / Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands (Director: Rebecca Daly, Screenwriters: Rebecca Daly, Glenn Montgomery) — After Margaret, a divorcée living in Dublin, loses her teenage son, she develops an unorthodox relationship with Joe, a homeless youth. Their tentative trust is threatened by his involvement with a violent gang and the escalation of her exhusband’s grieving rage. Cast: Rachel Griffiths, Barry Keoghan, Michael McElhatton. World Premiere
Picture Tree Intl. has picked up international sales on “Mammal,” which will have its world premiere in the World Dramatic competition section at the Sundance Film Festival. The film is directed by Rebecca Daly, whose debut feature “The Other Side of Sleep” played in Cannes Directors’ Fortnight in 2011. “Mammal” stars Rachel Griffiths, who was Oscar nominated for “Hilary and Jackie,” and Barry Keoghan, who also appears in upcoming Michael Fassbender movie “Trespass Against Us.” The cast also features “Game of Thrones” thesp Michael McElhatton.
The film centers on Margaret (Griffiths), a separated woman living alone in Dublin. After the death of her son, Margaret is drawn to a homeless youth, Joe (Keoghan). As their mutual reliance grows, they confuse the boundaries between affection and sexual intimacy.
The 22-year-old Dubliner Barry Keoghan has been selected for Stars of Tomorrow 2015. The BFI London Film Festival and Screen International have now unveiled their list, spotlighting the hottest up-and-coming actors and filmmakers. Matt Mueller, Editor of Screen International, says: “The young actors, directors, writers and producers we have chosen are a real testament to the amazing talent that exists in the UK and Ireland. I have no doubt we will be hearing much more from our Class of 2015 in the years ahead.”
Barry Keoghan has an unmistakable intensity, whether on TV’s Love/Hate, briefly glimpsed in the feature ’71 (he also has a small role in Trespass Against Us), or bigger turns in indies Norfolk and Rebecca Daly’s upcoming MAMMAL, in which he takes the lead opposite Rachel Griffiths.