According to several people in the rows behind me “the by far worst movie they ever saw” and a literal “piece of shit movie”. And of course you had to let the whole theatre now about your opinion on the matter. Thanks. I really needed to know that. Spoilers for Mother!
Not that Mother! is a film that lends itself to being spoiled. It - pretends to have a straight forward narrative, and if you came in late and missed the first surreal minute of it, you may even be fooled, despite certain elements of mystery that seep into the film.
Until all hell breaks loose. Literally.
The film starts with Javier Bardem magically rebuilding a house AND a wife out of the ashes of a catastrophe with a glowing crystal. And be real, if you can magically create a wife out of rubble - make it Jennifer Lawrence. :)
After that, the film’s narrative calms down to more realism. The weird opening is only alluded to by the presence of the magic crystal in Bardem’s study, and the unnamed couple tries to lead a normal life in the remote house, only interrupted by the uninvited intrusion of Michelle Pfeiffer and Ed Harris and their sons
Admiral Hux and his little brother Domhnall and Brian Gleeson, bringing drama into the life of the author with a writer’s block and his nest-building wife. And if you feel relaxed, because that’s only mildly weird for a Darren Aronofksy film - the third act will completely unrail your feeling of having ANY idea what the hell is going on. (There’s an obvious theme of female love and care, building a home and a family, while men tear it down with egoism and pride, but - the details of it all will remain to be analysed by more smarter experts than me for years to come).
Remember when I said literally above? I don’t use that term lightly. Mother! is a surreal, expressionist piece of art. This isn’t “The Fighter” or “The Wrestler” Aronofsky, the more or less conventional movie maker. The third act of the film tears apart any idea of coherent narrative and takes a deep dive into gut punching, unfathomable, confusing, but visually and emotionally gripping film making, on a Cronenberg or Lynch level. Returning to a “Pi” level of cinematic (in)accessibility.
So - to nobody’s surprise, the crowd that came to the big screen of my local cinema, probably not knowing more about the flick other than Jennifer Lawrence being in it was - less than amused. If you want to see “A Jennifer Lawrence film” - this isn’t it. Don’t get me wrong, I love JLaw and I really appreciate her taking a tough role like this (the most daring of her career so far), but only because I also love David Lynch. And David Cronenberg. And Aronofsky’s earlier works. If you can say that about yourself, by all means - don’t miss Mother!