Vladimir de Fontenay’s Mobile Homes follows the makeshift family of young mother Ally (Imogen Poots) and her deadbeat boyfriend Evan (Callum Turner) as they move from motel to motel along with their eight-year-old son. When Ally believes Evan has gotten the boy too involved in his own illegal schemes, she tries to start a new life with her child. Entertaining throughout, this new feature offers a fascinating spin on the family drama, but by never fully addressing the issues it raises, it falls short of its potential.
At its core, Mobile Homes is intended as an allegory of the lengths a mother will go for her child, yet the film is too preoccupied exploring the fractured and damaging relationship between Ally and Evan. Whilst this avenue is undoubtedly necessary – and significant steps are made here – spending too little time with mother and son means there’s not as much weight as there should be at the moments that matter. A contributing factor to this is that the work takes quite a long time to get where it needs to go, meaning there’s not as much space to explore the central relationship. Likewise, the picture has a tendency to bring up a variety of concerns throughout without sufficiently engaging with any of them, which consequently gives the impression that the movie is incomplete.
Despite this unfortunate misstep, the elements that are shown to us are executed well. Both Poots and Turner give noteworthy performances in their respective roles; they are so hopelessly dependant on one another that we do feel for Ally’s desire to escape from this endless cycle in order to give her and her son a chance of having a normal life. Likewise, Fontenay’s direction is sound. He’s able to capture a childlike sense of freedom which is both beautifully moving and heartbreakingly tragic, given the circumstances of this liberation.
An interesting take on a family drama, Mobile Homes shows great promise but ultimately undoes itself by failing to answer the important questions it so often poses.
Mobile Homes does not have a UK release date yet.
Read more reviews from our Glasgow Film Festival 2018 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the Glasgow Film Festival website here.
Watch the trailer for Mobile Homes here: