mother!

mother!

(2017)

Psychological thriller from Oscar-nominated writer-director Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan). Stars Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem as a couple whose relationship is tested when uninvited guests (Michelle Pfeiffer and Ed Harris) arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.

Flicks Review

I'd put Darren Aronofsky alongside Quentin Tarantino, Paul Thomas Anderson and Martin Scorsese as one of the finest American filmmakers working today. His latest, however, is more like a David Lynch film: something challenging to decode that'll be hugely rewarding to some and simply frustrating to others.... More

Obsession plays a central role, as it does in all Aronofsky films, and overtly religious and political imagery feature throughout. But what this movie is all about will be dependent on the viewer - it could be motherhood (of course), the story of creation, the destructiveness of the male ego, celebrity culture, man vs nature, the place of women on the human stage, living with an artist, isolationism or any number of other things. mother! can also be read on its surface level alone as a disturbing tale about a woman going nuts in a potentially haunted house. Doing so will be disappointing, though, despite how incredible the spectacle is.

It's a difficult film to review, partly as the less you know going in, the more you're likely to get from it. But believe the hype: mother! goes to some truly crazy places. The third act features an assault on the senses that surpasses that which was built to at the climax of Requiem for a Dream. It's taboo-busting and intensely horrific in a way that flirts with the obscene more than any film with A-list actors has in recent memory.

For those who can overcome the shocking scenes and enjoy finding meaning in the absurdity, this is one of the most interesting films in years. It's extraordinarily acted, filmed and edited and while I wish there was a just a touch more clarity to it, it's the sort of wildly original beast I wish we had in cinemas more often.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 31 ratings, 29 reviews
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I absolutely hated this film.

Now, before I get my head chopped off - I understood the film. I got it. It was hard not to get it as it was as subtle as a brick through a window - and that was part of why I didn't connect with this film at all.

I would say that I was completely locked into this film for around an hour (at most). I was intrigued as to where the film was going and liked the religious nods throughout the first hour, but when I realised that this film is ALL about the religious... More allegory and that it wasn't going to be a frightening thriller, I was out. The performances were fine, but Aranofsky seem to be beating me over the head with his message screaming ' GET IT? DO YOU GET IT? GET IT NOW? YOU MUST GET IT NOW'

Yes, Aranofsky, I get it. I just hated how you went about it.Hide


BY fairbrother superstar

mother! is a hard film to describe without ruining since much of it's dubious pleasure comes from how unpredictable it is. It's not interested in approximating reality as we know it but, rather, spinning it's own heightened, allegorical reality, a bad dream that gets badder and dreamier as it approaches fever-pitch. It is a horror film, but not in the generic sense: this is horror of the mind, about how fragile our physical and spiritual lives are, how powerless anyone is to escape the world.... More Or it's about the environment. Or anxiety. Or religion. Or social media. Or tribal politics. Or celebrity. Or "a woman's place". Or, maybe, none or all of the above.

The film is fascinating precisely because it's a pretentious hack-job. It declares it's seriousness repeatedly, as if it doesn't trust the audience to realize this is "art" that means stuff, which - especially combined with a distinct lack of humor - makes it kind of risible. But any studio picture that dares to risk alienating a mainstream audience so drastically deserves to be seen for one's self. And there's no denying it gets under your skin and keeps you watching.

Emphasizing every squeaky floor-board and scraping tea-cup, the sound design jangles the nerves from the off. So do the jittery, claustrophobic handheld close-ups which make up the bulk of the footage. The performers commit to characters whose motives are left deliberately vague as their behavior spirals into weirdness. All of this layers some serious dread, and it is thrilling the way director Darren Aronofsky finally lets things explode, a sustained panic-attack in pictures and sound and fury...

Except there's no satisfactory ending. I was happy to go with the manic flow, secure in the belief Aronofsky knew what he was on about even if I didn't get it, but the last scenes cruelly expose the film's lack of any substantial unifying theory. A nightmare finally spread too thin, a fable without a clear moral, mother! is a hot mess of cocksure technique and muddled intentions.Hide


BY Beyond nobody

mother!
lover
giver
rarely a receiver
fighter.

after youths addicted to sugar
after women dancing to Tchaikovsky
Darren Aronofsky
delivers another
emersively singular
heart-stopper.

like most art, it’s flawed but not like any other.
the Rosemary’s Baby-esque poster
is not a coincidence
I also like his preference
of women, like the beautiful Jennifer Lawrence.
see it in a theatre


BY JackWallace superstar

Well, that was something. While watching Darren Aronofsky's MOTHER!, I was going back and forth weather I liked it or not. I won't go into plot details because the less you know about the story, the better. At first I was intrigued but not loving it. Then it started to get repetitive, and suddenly the film goes completely nuts and the ending is a big "what the f*ck was that all about?"
Great cinematography. Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem are very good. Lawrence gives her best performance... More in years. For most of the film, I wasn't feeling anything on an emotional or visceral level. I was leaning forward in my seat and had my mouth open during the most intense, f*cked up scene, but that's about it. I didn't feel the dread escalating throughout the film like I did with BLACK SWAN. An interesting film that's different to what you'd normally see in cinemas, but it's not for everyone.Hide


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The Press Reviews

  • A dense, delirious, playful and serious work of capital A art, and easily the most ambitious film to come out of a major studio since Kubrick. Full Review

  • Like all our most vivid bad dreams, it snags the mind. With barbs. Full Review

  • Most of the dialogue and effects are clunky, repetitive, second-rate. A minute or so of David Lynch's latest Twin Peaks series has more irrational menace. For all its feverish activity, Mother! feels static. Full Review

  • Mother! escalates the anxiety and ups the ante of dismay with every scene, every act, every trimester, taking us in short order from WTF to WTAF to SWTAF and beyond. Full Review

  • Grappling with this climax - steeped in gore, religious symbolism, hundreds of marauding strangers (including Kristen Wiig) and sheer chutzpah - is the moviegoing gauntlet of the year. Full Review

  • A very Rosemary's Baby-like intimate horror tale that definitely grabs your attention and eventually soars well over the top to make the bold concluding statement that, for some creators, art is more important than life. Full Review

  • By all means, go to "mother!" and enjoy its roller-coaster-of-weird exhibitionism. But be afraid, very afraid, only if you're hoping to see a movie that's as honestly disquieting as it is showy. Full Review

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