Amidst a wild flat meadow encircled by an Edenic lush forest, a couple have cocooned themselves in a secluded mansion that was not so long ago burned to the ground, devotedly restored by the supportive wife. Within this safe environment, the once famous middle-aged poet husband is desirous of creating his magnum opus; however, he seems unable to break out of the persistent creative rut that haunts him. Then, unexpectedly, a knock at the door, the sudden arrival of a cryptic late-night visitor and his intrusive wife will stimulate the writer's stagnant imagination. Little by little, much to the perplexed wife's surprise, the more chaos he lets in their haven, the better for his punctured male ego. In the end, will this incremental mess blemish, irreparably, the couple's inviolable sanctuary?Written by
The following statement by Darren Aronofsky was released a week before the premiere: "It is a mad time to be alive. As the world population nears 8 billion we face issues too serious to fathom: ecosystems collapse as we witness extinction at an unprecedented rate; migrant crises disrupt governments; a seemingly schizophrenic US helps broker a landmark climate treaty and months later withdraws; ancient tribal disputes and beliefs continue to drive war and division; the largest iceberg ever recorded breaks off an Antarctic ice shelf and drifts out to sea. At the same time we face issues too ridiculous to comprehend: in South America, tourists twice kill rare baby dolphins that washed ashore, suffocating them in a frenzy of selfies; politics resembles sporting events; people still starve to death while others can order any meat they desire. As a species our footprint is perilously unsustainable yet we live in a state of denial about the outlook for our planet and our place on it. From this primordial soup of angst and helplessness, I woke up one morning and this movie poured out of me like a fever dream. All of my previous films gestated with me for many years but I wrote the first draft of Mother! (2017) in 5 days. Within a year we were rolling cameras. And now two years later, it is an honor to return to the Lido for the world premiere. I imagine people may ask why the film has such a dark vision. Hubert Selby Jr., the author of Requiem for a Dream (2000), taught me that through staring into the darkest parts of ourselves is where we find the light. "Mother!" begins as a chamber story about a marriage. At the center is a woman who is asked to give and give and give until she can give nothing more. Eventually, the chamber story can't contain the pressure boiling inside. It becomes something else which is hard to explain or describe. I can't fully pinpoint where this film all came from. Some came from the headlines we face every second of every day, some came from the endless buzzing of notifications on our smartphones, some came from living through the blackout of Hurricane Sandy in downtown Manhattan, some came from my heart, some from my gut. Collectively it's a recipe I won't ever be able to reproduce, but I do know this serving is best drunk as a single dose in a shot glass. Knock it back. Salute!" [Aug. 2017] See more »
The first time Mother calls 911 and hangs up after it was answered, the 911 dispatcher doesn't attempt to call back. In reality, 911 would immediately call back on a hang up call. See more »
The music in the first half of the end credits is followed by a long period with only quiet ambient noise. The near-silence is broken when Javier Bardem's character's calligraphy is inscribed in white ink next to (and sometimes over) the remaining credits. See more »
Went to the first matinée available locally and I am still thinking the picture over. Will definitely see this one again, if it hasn't left the theatre abruptly. I was certainly horrified by the film, which is a good thing, as I had assumed it was a horror picture. It is, of course, much more than that. Nonetheless, it is NOT The Conjuring or Get Out (both good films, for sure), so just be warned.
By now you are aware that the film has been controversial, also a good thing. Jennifer Lawrence does a fine job and her career is certainly not going to suffer for her performance. I am not exactly a JLaw "fan" (could live without the Hunger Games), although I will pay closer attention to her future performances, especially if she pulls off more roles like this one (really liked Winter's Bone, by the way). As I understand the Hollywood scene, it is a respectable personal decision to take on a challenging role in an avant garde picture, especially if you have already banked serious money from popular roles in blockbusters. Javier Bardem, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Ed Harris also do their respective parts justice--a well-acted film by A-listers, overall. Camera work and special effects are also impressive.
The story is genuinely disturbing in a Requiem for a Dream way, so don't go if you can't handle that sort of thing. Some of the violence is, indeed, OVER THE TOP. Seriously, not for the faint of heart. Aside from the biblical allegory stuff, I found the character portrayals creepy as hell in a (sur?)realistic David Lynch-esque way. Hell is other people!
I applaud Mr. Aronofsky for keeping his vision intact all the way to the big screen. For reference, I just don't need any more movies based on superheros, comic books (except The Tenth or Gen 13), children's cartoons, vampires fighting werewolves, or horror stick about unfriending weirdos on facebook.
You will have to make up your own mind on this one, so please do just that. Even if you end up despising the film, try to remember that, to quote Rob Zombie, "Art's Not Safe."
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