This is how Paramount describes Darren Aronofsky’s movie mother! - A couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence. From filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream) mother! stars Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer in this riveting psychological thriller about love, deception, and sacrifice.
This is how moviegoers saw it; an F Cinemascope score.
(A’s are good, B’s shaky, and C’s terrible, D’s and F’s - the film should not have been made or it was not promoted properly and the wrong audience attended)
This is definitely a rare film. Studio's never saying yes to these (but Paramount did) agreed to let Aronofsky make his wild ride of darkness and violence that leaves you screaming “masterpiece, genius!” or - “grotesque self-serving pretentious slop of unnecessary nasty chaos that was not needed to come to a Cineplex near you."
mother! is a unique melange of gruesome dark scenes that stay in your mind for days. Feeling dragged around like a rodeo bare-back cowboy for an unleashed barrage of non-stop hysteria that never allows for full resuscitation, nor lets you regain full consciousness.
The film starts off with the beautiful countryside home, wife (Jennifer Lawrence) and husband (Javier Bardem) in love and living a pristine comfortable happy life. One day a stranger (Ed Harris) rings the bell and the husband takes a liking to him. The wife is not so sure he comes bringing good wishes, next comes the drunk sexed up wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) and their two sons (Brian Gleeson and Domhnall Gleeson.) That’s when all hell breaks loose. Up until now, you were waiting to see what happens, well - now you know. Sheer chaos for a horrific sequence of images that keep on hitting you with punches. The poster should read: “Hop on for the ride from hell - to hell.”
In mother! - Aronofsky unleashes everything he has ever dreamed of putting in a movie. A sequence of 121 minutes of upsetting, unbearable, chaotic melodramatic insane horror and violence - in an unrelenting, fearless, creative, experimental, unique set of scenes filled with dark religious overtones and satire. If you like to have your mind taken to the outer limits of the outer limits - this one is for you and you will call it a work of art; if you feel that it goes nowhere but into a director’s pretentious experimentation that is so self-centered on taking a studios money (and high-fiving himself once he got approved by Paramount brass) then you likely walked out and filled out one of those CinemaScore cards with an F.
What Aronofsky did with this film that is filled with grotesqueness and ugliness is - he got it made. This is not an easy type of film to get green-lit. What resulted is an example of a director having free-reign and throwing everything into a witches brew of EVERYThing Aronofsky makes movies that scream so loud you can never leave without a strong opinion. He makes what he wants to make. Through the ride, you have no idea where the movie is going and today that is rare for a films plot line. It definitely leaves you armed for the post-coffee shop chat with the person you go see it with because of no matter whether you love it or you hate it (and you will be in one camp or the other) it definitely has you talking. Aronofsky wants this. He wants to provoke and disturb. This film is so over the top, as a psychological horror melodrama, that it’s hard to actually explain, so you really can’t. It has to be seen to comprehend the level of, well - of witches brew. Critics are of both camps;
Aronofsky makes movies that scream so loud you can never leave without a strong opinion. He makes what he wants to make. Through the ride, you have no idea where the movie is going and today that is rare for a films plot line. It definitely leaves you armed for the post-coffee shop chat with the person you go see it with because of no matter whether you love it or you hate it (and you will be in one camp or the other) it definitely has you talking. Aronofsky wants this. His raison d'etre is to provoke and disturb.
The film is so over the top, as a psychological horror melodrama, that it’s hard to actually explain, so you really can’t. It has to be seen to comprehend the level of the brew. Critics are of both camps; raving masterpiece, while others call it a boring nonsensical self-serving exercise.
Although great actors line the marquee, this likely was not Jennifer Lawrence’s finest choice of a career move but definitely a once in a lifetime for her and she is the shining light of this film. Her talents are undeniable.
mother! is uncomfortable, courageous and a rare film. For the four main actors - this will be a once in a lifetime project. For many moviegoers that is a good thing because the result does make you crave for more. Even if you like it, you will be glad you saw it - but will never want to see it again.