What You Need To Know:
THANK YOU AND GOOD NIGHT! is a quirky and fatalistic documentary that focuses on director Jan Oxenberg's dying grandmother and the way her impending death affects her family relationships. Although certain scenes are appealing for their candor and sentiment, the movie is reminiscent of an overly long student film that lacks structure and form.
(M) Fatalistic outlook on death and scenes of an older woman in pain suffering from terminal cancer. (This could be G-rated, since there is no offensive material)
THANK YOU AND GOOD NIGHT! is a quirky and subjective documentary that focuses on director Jan Oxenberg’s dying grandmother and the way her impending death affects her family’s relationships. The director interviews her grandmother and uses a cardboard cut-out of herself as a five-year-old girl to turn back the clock and relive some of her fondest memories.
Although certain scenes are appealing for their candor and sentiment, the movie is reminiscent of a long student film that lacks structure and form. It resembles an unedited diary of the director’s family life, rather than a moving story about death and dying, and in many ways it is too intimate. We don’t understand many of the obscure references that have meaning only for herself, leaving us feeling that we are strangers in a world that only Oxenberg’s relatives can fully understand and appreciate. Even so, director Oxenberg has allowed us to share in her grief by recording for posterity her thoughts and emotions, her family’s grieving and her grandmother’s final days. Oxenberg has made this film to cope with her own grieving, but for outsiders it comes across as a very long personal essay with a confused, ambiguous meaning.