My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?

Film Review by Becky Bartlett | 04 Sep 2010
Film title: My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?
Director: Werner Herzog
Starring: Michael Shannon, Willem Dafoe, Chloe Sevigny, Grace Zabriskie
Release date: 10 Sept 2010
Certificate: 15


Following the commercial and critical success of Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, Werner Herzog returns with the equally long-titled but far more bizarre My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?. Loosely based on the true story of a man (played with heavy lidded intensity by Michael Shannon) who kills his mother, Herzog has assembled an excellent, though largely under-used cast, including Willem Dafoe, Chloe Sevigny and Grace Zabriskie of Twin Peaks fame. The influence of Herzog's direction is more evident here than in Bad Lieutenant, with tableau scenes, lush Peruvian jungles and animals (flamingoes and ostriches replace the former film's iconic reptiles). Executive producer David Lynch's style is also instantly recognisable, and the collaboration between the two is a fascinating and stylised, though superficial one; like many of the characters, the plot is under-developed yet My Son, My Son lingers in the brain and is essential viewing for Herzog and Lynch fans alike.