2017 | 120 minutes | Rated R
A two-hour nightmare, nearly every frame of Mother! is designed to be deeply unpleasant. Since that's the goal, and since it accomplishes that goal so well, Mother! kind of has to get an A+, four stars, two thumbs up, right? I'm not sure I can tell you what the fuck Mother! is, but I am pretty sure it's exactly what writer/director Darren Aronofsky meant to make. Good for him! Whether that's good for anyone else is TBD. Mother! starts with a whole lot of Rosemary’s Baby: From the moment she wakes up, a subtle dread follows an unnamed woman (Jennifer Lawrence) who’s living her best Martha Stewart impression, fixing up her half-decrepit, half-beautiful mansion in the middle of nowhere. As Lawrence’s blank, bland woman restores and polishes and paints and bakes, her unnamed poet husband (Javier Bardem) fights a case of writer’s block. When a creepy unnamed man and a cruel unnamed woman show up at the front door, thingsens get weirder. Even before it’s halfway over, this slow-motion anxiety attack feels like a lot, but as Mother! veers from surreal to silly and back again—throwing in some jump scares, a few excellent stretches of purely visual storytelling, and not a single joke.
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