Plot of the Movie "Mammoth"

by Chris Brower

"Mammoth" is a 2009 drama film written and directed by Lukas Moodysson. It stars Gael Garcia Bernal and Michelle Williams. It tells the story of a married couple, both successful and immersed in their careers. The film also covers their relationship to their daughter and nanny, and what happens when the father travels to Thailand on business.

Plot Summary

"Mammoth" follows Leo (Bernal) and Ellen (Williams) as they live and work in New York. They are dedicated to their jobs. Leo runs a popular website he created, while Ellen works in an emergency room. They also have an 8-year-old daughter named Jackie, but because of their busy schedules, Gloria, a Filipino nanny, watches over Jackie, causing Jackie to actually prefer Gloria's company over her mother's. Gloria has two children back in the Philippines, where they live with their grandmother. The boys want Gloria to work in the Philippines, and the oldest boy tries to find her a job there. When he is hurt, Gloria quits her nanny job, and heads back to the Philippines to be with her boys. Because of Leo's booming business, he travels to Thailand to sign a contract. However, due to delays, Leo finds himself being bored and gazing at the attractive prostitutes that are around. At first he is not tempted, but then he succumbs, having sex with a local woman. Regret fills him. Finally, the colleague accepts the terms offered in the negotiation, and Leo returns to the United States.


The movie covers several themes. One is dedication to work and how that can consume someone's life. Another is dedication to family, and balancing that with work and other concerns. While in Thailand, Leo must confront temptation, desire and lust. Also, with his business dealings, he must deal with greed. He also learns how his decisions can influence his feelings. Another theme is the role of adults in the emotional growth of a child, whether by a parent or a caretaker.

Movie Facts

The movie was released in 2009, and then in 2010 on DVD, by IFC Films. Its estimated budget was around $10 million. The movie received a rating of R. It was director and writer, Lukas Moodysson's, first movie in English. The movie received mixed reviews from critics. Manohla Dargis of "The New York Times" argued that the movie had bad dialogue, while Joe Morgenstern of "The Wall Street Journal" said, " 'Mammoth' managed to be as affecting as it is heartfelt."


Bernal and Williams have made several other notable films. For Bernal, who was born in Mexico in 1978, this includes "The Motorcycle Diaries," "The Science of Sleep" and "Babel." For Williams, who was born in Montana in 1980, this includes "Brokeback Mountain," "Blue Valentine" and "Shutter Island."

About the Author

Chris Brower is a writer with a B.A. in English. He also spent time studying journalism and utilizes both to deliver well-written content, paying close attention to audience, and knowing one word could determine whether a product is a success or a failure. He has experience writing articles, press releases, radio scripts, novels, short stories, poems and more.

Photo Credits

  • Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images