In a dystopian near future, single people, according to the laws of The City, are taken to The Hotel, where they are obliged to find a romantic partner in forty-five days or are transformed into beasts and sent off into The Woods.
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 »
After one of the sons is murdered, the Mother fails to call 911. All she does is clean up the crime scene and dispose of the evidence, making her complicit in the crime, something her character does not demonstrate in any other sense throughout the movie. Although the household is descending into bedlam, and her lack of control became increasingly uncomfortable for the viewer, the fact she did not protest the murder felt ill placed within the broader context of the film. See more »
As I say in the title of my review, it is neither artful nor profound to jam every possible reference and metaphor into your movie. It's lazy. It means you have no clear direction and/or are trying to appear meaningful while being unable to resist inserting your own 'struggle' into the 'high concept'... as though you are equating yourself with the existential conflicts of gods and nature... I should think this is the penultimate epitome of pretentiousness and narcissism.
Yes, I got ALL the possible meanings of everything thrust into this amalgamation of horror and pseudo-philosophy tropes. And that was the problem... they were ALL THERE. There was no one idea prevailing; it was, as other reviewers noted, throwing all the poo against the wall and seeing what stuck... and the result was merely akin to a port-a-potty explosion.
The only reason I've given it a 2 was that there were so many abysmal movies this year that this one does rise a little higher by comparison... but only barely.
This is a movie for all the art-house crowd who believe their own self-delusions of brilliance and the Hollywood elite who pat themselves on the back ceaselessly.
I would compare it to the absurdly high praise for "Boyhood".
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