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Movie Breakdown: mother!

September 13, 2017

Film

Pre-Screening Stance:

For a moment there it really seemed like director Darren Aronofsky was on his way to huge things.  Requiem For A Dream, The Fountain, The Wrestler and Black Swan were all successive winners, and this propelled him into the running for big-budget films like The Wolverine (this eventually went to James Mangold) and the Robocop remake (this eventually went to Jose Padilha).  In the end though all that the world got from Aronofsky was the mediocre and perplexing Noah.  I hope this is a return to form for him.

Post-Screening Ramble:

If you’re someone who’s prone to anxiety attacks, then mother! is not the movie for you.  It’s sort of like Jordan Peele’s Get Out – in that you know everything is wrong but you’re not quite prepared for just how wrong everything is – but this film is more unsettling, thoroughly insane, surprisingly gory and without hardly any humor at all. I honestly don’t know if I liked it, and I sure as shit don’t know if any of you are going to dig it.

The story is told entirely from the viewpoint of Mother (Jennifer Lawrence).  She lives way out in the middle of nowhere with Him (Javier Bardem), and they spend their days working – she is slowly rebuilding their home, and he is trying to write poetry.  Things don’t quite seem all that well, but before anything can be explained/shown, a man shows up at their door.  This is maybe 10 minutes into the film, and once he arrives things get shaky and before you know it you’re in for one hell of a trip.  I won’t say anything else plot-wise, but I will note that it does attempt to twist your brain right out of your skull.  Good luck!

To be honest, I need to see mother! again.  Aronofsky has really made something bizarre and rather inaccessible.  I can’t even really tell you what it’s about.  Maybe it’s a look at bad relationships, particularly the kind where one person does all the giving and the other does all the taking?  Or perhaps the film is rooted in feminism and wants to show how dominant men are evil?  I really have no clue.

This one is a total YMMV situation.  See it are your own risk.

One Last Thought:

There’s a whole brigade of people who have turned on Jennifer Lawrence, so I’m guessing they’re going to love watching her get put through the ringer in this film.

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