Mother

"Very Good"

Mother Review


Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah). His best films are unforgiving explorations of artistic ambition (Black Swan), addiction (Requiem for a Dream) or mortality (The Wrestler), admittedly big themes. But this bonkers family horror movie perhaps has more in common with his ambitious existential sci-fi epic The Fountain: this is a resolutely symbolic movie that's impossible to take literally. And yet it still freaks us out.

 

It's set in a huge isolated house, which a young woman (Jennifer Lawrence) has been restoring for her older poet husband (Javier Bardem) after it burned down. Just as it's beginning to look good, and she starts thinking about starting a family, the husband invites a stranger (Ed Harris) to stay, and he encroaches on their hospitality by inviting his pushy wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) and their bickering sons (real-life brothers Domhnall and Brian Gleeson). After causing some chaos, they finally leave, the wife falls pregnant and the husband's writers' block finally breaks. But his new book inspires so much adulation from his fans that their happiness is in jeopardy.

 

It's clear from the start that these aren't actual people. Lawrence is playing a representation of female roles: the home, the ultimate mother. Bardem is the creator who isn't paying attention to anything else around him. The plot can be read as a summary of the Bible (Old and New Testaments). But more intriguing are elements that parallel the filmmaking process itself, struggling to assemble a work of art then presenting it to the public, who tear it to pieces. Although if Aronofsky really believes that making movies is this horrific, then he should probably be doing something else.

 

Because the film does escalate into some seriously mind-blowing mayhem, skilfully assembled to play on the audience's most primal sensitivities. The actors are excellent, with Lawrence investing so much wrenching emotion that it's no wonder she injured herself in the process. Bardem has a steelier role, but the tone is just right. Alongside them, Harris and Pfeiffer are hilariously over the top, while Wiig has a madcap role as the poet's super-frantic agent.

 

Aronofsky holds closely to the wife's perspective all the way through, which forces the audience to see every encroachment on the house as a menace. This makes even the sillier moments darkly freaky, and when a party gets out of control, reaching almost apocalyptic destruction, it's genuinely harrowing. It's certainly unlike any movie we've ever seen, and if these were people instead of symbols we might have felt everything even more intensely.

 

Watch the trailer for 'Mother' here:


 



Facts and Figures

Genre: Horror/Suspense

Production compaines: Protozoa Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Producer: , Scott Franklin, Ari Handel

Starring: as Grace, as Eli, as Man, as Woman, as Oldest Son, Cristina Rosato as Novitiate, Patricia Summersett as Consoler, Jovan Adepo as Cupbearer, as Younger Brother, Alain Chanoine as Underling (uncredited), Xiao Sun as Fan, as Thief, as Underling (uncredited), Kimberly Lafferriere as Underling (uncredited), Hamza Haq as Refugee, Gregg Bello as Pisser, Stanley B. Herman as Pervert, Sabrina Campilii as Good Samaritan, Amanda Chiu as Damsel, Eric Davis as Bumbler, Raphael Grosz-Harvey as Philanderer, as Fool, Abraham Aronofsky as Wanderer, Luis Oliva as Idler, Stephanie Ng Wan as Whisperer, as Zealot, Ambrosio De Luca as Defiler, as Lingerer, Henry Kwok as Loiterer, Alexander Bisping as Aesthete, Koumba Ball as Epicure, Robert Higden as Drunkard, Elizabeth Neale as Devotee, as Herald, Scott Humphrey as Abettor, Anton Koval as Plunderer, Carolyn Fe as Pilferer, Pierre Simpson as Initiate, Mylene Savoie as Supplicant, Gitz Crazyboy as Hewer, Shaun O'Hagan as Coppersmith, Mizinga Mwinga as Deputy, Genti Bejko as Whoremonger, Andreas Apergis as Slave Driver, Julianne Jain as Executioner, Julien Irwin Dupuy as Soldier, Bronwen Mantel as Penitent, as Healer, Mason Franklin as Devourer, Laurence Leboeuf as Maiden, Sarah-Jeanne Labrosse as Foremother, Deena Aziz as Refugee (uncredited), Chloë Bellande as Sex Slave (uncredited), Adam Bernett as Protester #1 (uncredited), Izabela Dąbrowska as Refugee (uncredited), Bineyam Girma as Protester #2 (uncredited), Hamza Haq as Refugee (uncredited), Oliver Koomsatira as Protester #3 (uncredited), Vitali Makarov as Refugee (uncredited), Danny MAlin as Paparazzi #2 (uncredited), Serge Martineau as Dead Body (uncredited), Fred Nguyen as Looter 1 (uncredited), Daniela Sandiford as Refugee (uncredited), Xiao Sun as Fan (uncredited), Nathaly Thibault as Rave Dancer (uncredited), Melissa Toussaint as Fan #3 (uncredited)

Also starring:

Contactmusic

Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.