Mother! (2017) Movie Review
Possibly from the Beginning of time!
Playing a Woman without a proper name!
Playing a Man without a proper name!
Playing a Woman!
Playing a Man!
Yes, it’s one of those movies where the characters don’t have names, so you know it’s deep AF!
It’s also one of those movies where you nudge the person you’re with and mouth “What is going on!?!
As if you couldn’t tell that from the trailer!
Mother! is wacky auteur Darren Aronofsky’s (Black Swan! Requiem for a Dream! and other movies that are pretentious and brilliant at the same time) follow up to 2014’s Noah, and if you thought that just because the movie stars Oscar-Winners Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem you’d escape 2 hours of creation myth/God metaphor, you’d be wrong! Mother! is a film that almost defies review, but I’m going to do it anyway or else the terrorists will kill my neighbor’s children!
If you thought the final 15 minutes of Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream were too intense, this is not the film for you! If you hated the Twin Peaks finale, then you’ll hate this movie! If you like having things spelled out for you with a clear denouement and a classic 3-act structure, this is not the film for you!
But if you liked whacked-out imagery, Foley artists violating your eardrums, and Jennifer Lawrence nipples, then maybe you’ll really be into this Mother!
The plot? There’s not much of one, and my recap won’t differentiate much from the trailer you watched, but it won’t matter because Mother! is one of the most mother- fluffing insane movies of the year. And the more I think about it, one of the best!
Jennifer Lawrence plays a woman devoted to her Husband (Javier Bardem- Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Men Tell No Tales )! He’s a writer/poet who’s had some degree of success in the past but seems to be struggling in the present! She’s content to cook and clean and paint while he trudges on with his writing!
They lead a seemingly idyllic lifestyle, but it feels like something is ready to boil over!
J-Bard brings home a random Man (Ed Harris). Man is looking for a place to stay (he mistook their house for a bed-and-breakfast, right…) and J-Bard is more than happy to invite him over and let him spend the night! J-Law is a little leery about letting a stranger spend the night but she’s down for whatever her husband wants!
Since these characters don’t have names I’ll just use their real names!
Ed Harris spends the night and likes it so much that he invites his wife Michelle Pfeiffer to spend some more time with J-Law/J-Bard! J-Bard is completely okay with letting more people into the house to stay! J-Law is taken aback at how much their hospitality is being taken advantage of!
After Catwoman and Apollo 13 violate one of the sacred rules of the house, J-Law kicks them out! But not until Ed and Michelle’s two sons come over really upset and ready to kill!
Houston, we have a problem because this is when the movie gets really weird! I could actually tell you everything that happens, and it still wouldn’t convey how crazy the remaining running time gets, but I won’t because you owe it to yourself to see it!
What Works With Mother!
- In a completely reactive performance, Jennifer Lawrence owns every frame she’s in! I’d have to see it again to know if it’s better than her Oscar Winning work in The Silver Linings Playbook. We all know she’s a great actress when she’s fully engaged and how bad she is when she’s bored (see: X-Men Apocalypse - she looked as uninterested as the audience- or the final two Hunger Games movies!). Lawrence carries Mother! even when you think her character is going crazy!
- There’s more suspense and audience involvement over a sink than there was during the entire running time of The Dark Tower or The Hitman’s Bodyguard or Valerian and the City of Terrible Reviews or The Mummy or Transformers or pretty much any movie from the summer of ’17 that didn’t have the words Wonder Woman in the title! Yes, a sink!
- Michelle Pfeiffer’s scariest role ever! Who knew?!
- The final 45 minutes are an assault on your senses! Not like in a Michael Bay way, but like you-were-slipped-illicit-drugs-in-your-drink-and-your-body-chemistry-is-forever-altered way! That’s either going to make or break the movie for you! You’ve been warned!
What Doesn’t Work With Mother!
- At its worst, Mother! plays like a Mexican soap opera as Darren Aronofsky is anything but subtle! Every line is screamed or said as an actor trembles in terror! It’s overwrought to the Nth degree but it goes down sweeter when you have great actors delivering the lines and conveying huge emotions!
I’m a Mother! lover! You’re a Mother! lover! We should F each other’s mothers! F each other’s moms!