Plot: After a horrific fire, a woman works to restore her home while her husband tries to finish a writing project. The home is beautiful and the couple seems to be happy, in their isolated, tranquil existence. But when a man arrives, his presence seems to disrupt this tranquility and a chain of events are set into motion that will test the couple and their relationship.
Entertainment Value: I know that synopsis was brief and vague, but this is a movie that uses no names and communicates through visuals and experiences, more than the traditional narrative means. I loved this movie, I found it to be an aggressive and intense experience that stays in your mind long after the credits roll. The influences are rather obvious and Darren Aronofsky has been candid about the work that inspired elements of mother!, but it still feels like a distinct, dynamic work. The movie is packed with all kinds of symbolism and metaphors, but is still an active, kinetic experience to me, doesn’t often feel overly pretentious. I do agree with the film’s critics who see the film as heavy handed and blunt, but in my view, that is the point here. mother! goes for the jugular and while that bluntness might alienate some, I appreciate how aggressive and unrelenting the result was. Jennifer Lawrence has the lead and this couldn’t have been an easy role to endure, especially being in pretty much every scene. She is excellent and in my view, this is her best work since Winter’s Bone. The cast also includes Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer, Domnhall Gleeson, Kristen Wiig, and an assortment of rude, entitled guests. I can see why mother! polarized audiences and it is a sometimes rough ride to take, but I found it to be a visionary experience. The movie is able to pay tribute to Bunuel and a more divine source, while also feeling like a fresh voice and one hell of a wild ride.
A little nakedness here, with some brief man ass and bare breasts on showcase. The breasts are mostly visible as seen through a sheer nightgown, though they’re also out and about in a couple instances. The movie has a good deal of violence and aggression, including some bloodshed. Some of the violence is quite vivid and graphic, especially in the finale, but then some is just quick splashes of crimson. I was disappointed by the use of CGI here, the movie’s production values are so high and polished, which makes the digital bloodshed all the more obvious. But even in scenes without rampant bloodshed, the movie’s aggressive and unsettling atmosphere really dials up the tension, so this is a high pressure experience. I love the dialogue in this movie, as it is often so disruptive and dysfunctional, always at the expense of our long suffering lead. The lines aren’t so much quotable as they are jarring and off putting, which some will hate, but I found a lot of entertainment in. As for craziness, mother! goes for broke and delivers a surreal, unnerving experience. The tone is unsettling, the tension is relentless, the characters are off the rails, and the finale is a hellish tour through human behavior. So yeah, mother! is has some serious crazy in there.
Overall Insanity: 10/10