Movie Review: My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done (2009)

I added My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done to my movie list since I have been making my way through Michael Shannon’s filmography. Unfortunately, this film falls into the Avoid Like the Plague rating. 

What is My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?

My Son My Son What Have ye done - Berk ReviewsShannon plays Brad McCullum, a man who is deeply disturbed after a recent trip to Peru with his friends. Last minute he decides not to accompany them kayaking. He later says he heard a “little voice” telling he should not. After the excursion ends in tragedy he claims this is the voice of God and does whatever this voice tells him to. He begins rehearsing a play and the lines are blurred between fantasy and reality.

Grace Zabriski well-known from her work in Twin Peaks and Big Love plays his overbearing mother. Chloe Sevigny is his fiance Ingrid Gudmundson. Willem Dafoe plays Detective Hank Havenhurst. Loretta Devine, Michael Peña, and Brad Dourif round out the cast.

What have Ye Done - Berk Reviews

Shannon is a favorite of mine. He often plays intense, troubled characters. In this film,however, I found the acting from all parties to be flat and rigid. The conversation never flows naturally and this becomes distracting. There are multiple scenes where we see the actors standing as still as possible staring at the camera. I never got lost in the storyline. The whole time I was watching I was very aware I was in the middle of a movie and I was counting the minutes until it was finally over.

Werner Herzog directed this movie. My only prior experience with him was through What Dreams May Come which I really enjoyed. During the opening credits I saw David Lynch acted as the producer. I have enjoyed a number of films he has directed and I have watched Twin Peaks a bazillion times. This is one project his name is attached to that I wish I’d steered clear of.

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