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Utter bs masquerading as art, allegory or whatever excuse some deluded critics are calling it, 'Mother!' is a loathsome exercise in self-indulgence
moviexclusive15 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I'll be honest – I f**king hated 'Mother!', and by that I mean I absolutely loathed it. If you thought 'Black Swan' was pretentious, well you haven't yet seen writer-director Darren Aronofsky's latest self-aggrandizing piece of 'artistic filmmaking'.

The titular character is never named, and as played by Jennifer Lawrence, is the adoring wife of an also unnamed middle-aged poet – referred to as 'Him' (Javier Bardem) – stuck in writer's block. They live in a gorgeous octagonal Victorian mansion, which she is painstakingly renovating. We find out later that the house was burned down in a fire which consumed her husband's first wife, and that he had pulled from the ashes a burnished crystal which he now displays proudly in his study.

Then out of the blue, a stranger (Ed Harris) turns up at their doorstep. He says he's an orthopaedic surgeon who's looking for a place to stay, and that he had mistaken their house for a bed-and- breakfast. To her horror, 'Him' invites the 'man' to stay; and by the next day, his wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) arrives, followed by their two quarrelling sons (Domhnall and Brian Gleeson). Before the day is over, one son will bludgeon and accidentally kill the other, resulting in a pool of blood on the wooden floorboards that she will scrub clean save for a patch shaped in a vagina.

It doesn't take a genius to see the parallel with the Cain and Abel story in the Bible, or the 10 plagues that make a brief appearance one by one. Those familiar with Aronofosky will know that he has been fascinated with Christianity – from his first feature 'Pi' to 'Noah' to 'The Fountain', Aronofsky has consistently drawn allegories and imagery from Biblical stories. 'Mother!' is no different, but there is no coherence, no logic and no purpose in his references here.

The anything-goes, anyhow-told narrative has unwelcome strangers turning up at her house to mourn the death of the 'man's' son, an unleashing of pent-up passion between her and 'Him', her unexpected pregnancy afterwards that lets her morph into the Virgin Mary, her husband's sudden inspiration and overnight success, the arrival of cult followers that want to use her newborn son as blood sacrifice, and last but not least plenty of sectarian wars and conflict that culminate in a full cycle of destruction and reincarnation. Only those enamoured with 'bullshit' will think that revealing any of these unexpected twists and turns amounts to 'spoilers'; but really, it's a lot of shock-and-awe wrapped around a bastardisation of notable Biblical tales for absolutely nothing.

Indeed, even more absurd than the movie itself is how some have tried so strenuously to justify its nonsense. One reading has it as an allegory for the abuse of Mother Earth, a warning for climate change; another explains how it describes the process by which art is created and how the artist eventually becomes a slave to that art; another talks about how some men have treated their women in marriage, reducing them to supporting roles and robbing them of agency and respect. Neither of these interpretations disguises the fact that the movie is a haphazard mess of ideas that never amounts to anything substantial or compelling.

Why then should we put up with its misogyny? Why then should we put up with the overwrought delirium that just gets more and more sickening? Or more fundamentally, why should we even care about what's happening on screen? Not even Lawrence, or Bardem, or Harris, or Pfeiffer can add depth to their characters, which are so thinly written that we wonder why the actors even bothered. And therein lies the stark truth about the madness we are supposed to discern as an expression of profound ideas – there is simply nothing behind it, no meaning, no wit and certainly no redemption.

'Mother!' is the sad product of an artist's self-indulgence taken to its own grotesque extremes. It is no art, it is no genius, and it is definitely no masterpiece, despite critics caught up in the same pretension will try to convince you. If you're curious about why we hated it so much, then go see it by all means; otherwise, stay away from this motherf**king disaster.
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Insane, beautiful, terrorizing, epic, puzzling, intoxicating, gross, masterful. (Spoilers)
Farshnoshket18 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
First, I must laugh at all the reviews of people who had no idea what they were watching. We must all realize that all films are not written for all people who watch. Just as I usually do not go see cartoon films, others should give good thought before seeing such an 'artsy' film as Mother!. Hey, if you didn't like Black Swan, think more than twice on this one.


There is a fire. Woman's face burning up. When cut to Javier holding a crystal. He places the crystal on a metal stand and we watch the house start healing itself, starting at that crystal. We cut to other parts of the house, as it heals, from fire back to normal. Eventually we cut to a bedroom where we see the bed healing itself and someone under the covers. She arises and it is Mother, played by Jennifer. Odd names for a film, right, but the names are never said in the film. We learn that Him is an accomplished poet, but it seems like he is going through some type of writer's block. Mother's mission is to refinish the house. A lot has been done, but there is always more work to do.

A man played by Ed Harris knocks at the door and Him greets the man and allows him to enter, almost happy someone else is in the house. The man is a doctor, but he smokes and drinks which causes him getting sick, fairly easily. It doesn't bother Him, but Mother is quite concerned.

Soon someone else arrives, a woman played by Michelle Pfeiffer. Turns out the woman is the man's wife. She's a feisty one played convincingly by Pfeiffer. Mother seems confused why Him allows these strangers to stay in their house. The woman doesn't hold anything back when she has a conversation with Mother. The woman asks why they don't have a baby? Mother is pretty taken back by how forward the woman is. This does not bother the drunk woman.

The man & woman seem to find a fascination with the crystal. Mother tells them not to touch it, but eventually they sneak in the room and break it into 100's of pieces. Him becomes enraged! Mother wants the man and woman to leave, but they don't and it's seems Mother is powerless. Mother goes to their room and they are having sex so she leaves. Even though Him is very upset he does not ask them to leave. Are you putting the pieces together? 2 more guests, 2 sons arrive. They fight, one becomes badly hurt & Him, the man & woman take him to the hospital, but Him comes back and tells Mother he died. Soon people start showing up, apparently for the funeral for the son and as more arrive things become chaotic. Every person seems to represent something different. The house becomes a disaster as everyone starts stealing everything!

After everyone leaves Him & Mother have a fight which turns into sex. After Mother says she is pregnant. Him then becomes inspired to write a new poem. He gives it to Mother to read. She cries and tells Him it is magnificent.

People start showing up again to praise Him for his poem. It is at this point things start to become totally chaotic. Let's just say lots of people show up and Aronofsky puts things in overdrive! The insanity on the screen is brilliant and here is why I believe this…


The film is basically an allegory our entire existence, and then some. Him is G*d. Mother is Mother Nature or as Him calls her, home. Him creates man and woman as Mother Nature creates everything around them. The Poem is the Bible. The house is the world. The man is Adam, the woman Eve. The sons Cain & Abel. We then basically witness an insane, quick review from Christ to present time (about 20 minutes), and then the demise of mankind. The film's use of the crystal represents the 'Apple'.


When we look at this film in its entirety, taking 2 steps back, we see the film summarizes man's existence. The beginning of the film shows he tried before, but failed. Our existence, most of the film, also fails. At the end, we see Him try once again. G*d's dilemma is free will. Him only leads by verse (the Bible), but man's interpretation is what creates conflict, as everyone has their own interpretation, thus anarchy eventually occurs & eventually obliteration. Eden gets a restart, over & over again.

I find the film to be amazing in scope, like Cloud Atlas or A's The Fountain. Like I said earlier, if you don't appreciate films like these, or even Black Swan don't bother. It's simply not your brand. I feel the film is an amazing encapsulation of our existence performed in very unique fashion. The message here is strong. I prefer the avant-garde probably because I've seen so many films. I need to view films that present something new, and this one certainly does. For me, it is a masterpiece. Aren't artists allowed to target their audience? They all can't have happy endings. My 1000 words worth.
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Thick on analogies and symbolism, to the point of overkill
bzarras11 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this at TIFF and the point this movie was trying to make became clear fairly early on. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but as the story developed, the analogies and symbolism went into overkill, to the point where their excessive nature diminished what was an interesting story.

The movie is helmed by Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem, two actors I'm particularly fond of. The short summary of this movie is that they are a couple who live in a beautiful, remote home. One night they take in an unwanted house guest (Harris), more at Bardem's choosing than Lawrence's. This leads to countless other house guests and invasions from the outside world, often to the detriment of Bardem & Lawrence's beautiful home, and Lawrence's well-being.

As the movie goes on, these violations against the home and Lawrence get increasingly bizarre and excessive. They get laid on so thick that, even if you have figured out the analogy by the midway point of the movie and enjoy the way the movie is getting it's point across, the sheer madness that transpires in the second half of the film is likely to sour you on the overkill applied to the message.

It becomes fairly apparent that the house and Lawrence's character from which the movie is titled represent our planet. Bardem's character represents a creator/God (in credits, his character is simply known as 'Him'). Harris and Pfeiffer, the original, invasive guests, are the original Man & Woman (Adam & Eve), and from there, a lot of the plot initially descends from biblical references and then into His desire to provide for his followers and to be adored by them, ignorant of how detrimental they are to the house and Mother.

At the very end, the house becomes overpopulated with people who are both zealots and warmongers who descend into utter 'WTF' madness while they destroy the home, murder the couple's child, and force Mother to burn down the home she so painstakingly created, killing everyone inside it. After the fire, He carries her out, and recreates the home with a new Mother.

As I said, it's a story thick on symbolism and message. I personally liked what they were going for, but think it could have been a much better movie if they had done it far subtly than with the extreme overkill they employed in the second half of this film. Looking at the reviews, I see a lot of people torn by this movie, and I think for these reasons. Some people didn't clue into the message very well and just thought it was a movie that made no sense. Others may not have liked the pro-environment analogies, while some may have loved how excessive the movie hammered it's point home. Another group likely felt how I did - that the plot and point was unique and interesting, but the sheer madness the film careened into during the second half was extremely excessive.

Overall, I give it a 6/10, with disappointment that a promising concept wasn't executed more sensibly.
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sherripadgitt-5553616 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Seriously wtf did I just watch? I get it, I get the comparison about the mother nature-god-adam-eve+ references, but that doesn't help the film out to realize this. This was just really brutal to watch. I almost didn't finish it, but I was already in sh**-deep so I had to go there. My advice...don't waste your time....seriously, you will most likely regret it.
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a film that fails on multiple levels
jdavidpayne23 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The principle rule of allegory is that it must function on two levels - the plain narrative, what the audience sees or reads, and the metaphorical, the level beyond the seen or read, usually conveying a deeper meaning. An allegory which fails as a narrative is a morality play; an allegory that fails on the metaphorical level is a nonsensical tale.

mother! fails on both levels, and the result is a confusing mess as likely to bore as it is to disgust.

The script is stark, but as opposed to offering up a Hemingway-esque brevity and punch, it instead descends to the level of drive by dialogue, actors delivering short statements with blank expressions and then leaving the room they're in. Granted, the actors only had Aronofsky's script to work with, and he's on record as saying it only took five days to write, which is visible in every scene. An undergrad brags about finishing their paper the night before it's due; a screenwriter should not laud a similar process for his film.

The only film that comes close to the delivery in mother! is The Room, which may very well be the superior of the two. And if you told me that Bardem, normally a captivating actor, had modeled his performance of Him on Wiseau's Johnny, I would readily believe you.

In fact, the only actor who brings any life to this joyless epic is Pfeiffer, whose facial expressions and tone elevate her sniping dialogue far above the written quality. She's also the only one who brings any passion to her role, as Lawrence seems to have been reduced to two speeds - blank expression and monotone speech, or screaming so hard she cracks a rib. All granularity seen in her previous performances is gone here.

The characters portrayed by normally fine actors are so small, so one dimensional, one barely cares about them as people, let alone as stand ins for something larger than themselves. I could muster neither sympathy nor even vague interest in the foibles and woes of this couple, nor their never-ending torrent of house guests. (Judging by the laughs in the theater, I wasn't the only one.) Their tragedies in the final third were grating, not because they were disgusting, or shocking, but because I was never interested in them to begin with.

The setting is a perfect mirror to Lawrence's acting, if not her character. The film takes places in a rustic, half finished house. As before with the script, any attempt at a spare beauty is never realized, and the end result looks like the set designers didn't want to spend too much time on something they knew would literally be ripped apart in the final act. The house is our only setting in this film, so its lack of visual interest is a massive detriment.

The cinematography is likewise lackluster, with nothing special to either set it apart or condemn it. It is filmed adequately. The story and performances were clearly meant to be the jewel here, a situation analogous to purchasing a workable frame only to enshrine pages from the 1988 Albuquerque phone book therein.

And since I brought up analogy, the elephant in the room, the roughshod Biblical allegory. Said allegory falls flat on its face as soon as its analyzed in the slightest. Lawrence is Aronofsky's self insertion character (in the style of bad fan fiction) to the Christian canon, a Gaia character who forms an unbalanced duality with Him, the writer's presentation of the Christian God.

Him is never very godlike, and his standing as "God" is simply revealed to us at the end, a classic example of telling and not showing. While observant viewers may be able to deduce his role from context earlier in the film, he is never characterized in a way that makes his stated role fit his perceived role. An allegory is not proclaiming a character to be other than they have been observed by way of a brief statement at the end.

The titular mother, the self insertion Gaia character, has a similar problem - she demonstrates none of the qualities common to portrayals of Mother Earth figures in fiction. Instead, she is aloof, credulous, and dense. If the point intended to be made was Aronofsky's self-proclaimed howl about the treatment of the planet, perhaps he should have created a Mother Earth figure that was remotely sympathetic, or relatable. What we have instead is a distant robot whose demise was met with yawns.

The revelation, easily predicted from the first scene, that this is a cycle these characters have been locked in since time immemorial, fails to shock or elicit a reaction, unless one counts exasperation. It also drives the allegory firmly off the rails, moving our underlying mythology from a Christian creation and eschatology to something more Eastern, with reality a cyclical illusion.

There was an opportunity here for a valid story to be told on multiple levels. We live in an era of man made climate change and contemporary Christianity is ripe for criticism. A more skilled writer and director could have pulled off a tale that would be as heartbreaking as it was true. And perhaps Aronofsky could have done that, had he taken his time and revised even the slightest bit. (However, as this is his second failure in a row that deals with Biblical themes, perhaps not.)

What we are treated to instead is the cinematic equivalent of soda crackers and a brief lecture by an inarticulate first year undergrad about religion and environmentalism. I wish I could end this with the famous quotation from King Lear, but it's not entirely accurate. We were only given the idea of sound and fury, not the genuine article. This film is the shadow of a shadow, and in that, at least, it does signify nothing.
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Mother is more than a movie.
alanroch424 June 2018
"Mother" is more than a movie, it's a masterpiece (work of art).

The rating does not match the work of the film because most of the people who watched the film did not understand the message. The movie is satire to religion to god, every scene, every detail is a hidden bible passage. For example: In one scene a man is in the bathroom and his back appears bruised, it means that he is Adam and his back is injured because God took his rib to make Eve. What I understood from the film is that it shows that God would be a selfish being that while man destroys the world and nature he only cares about being worshiped. You need to watch the movie and at the same time associate that part of the bible it is referring to, and which bible character each actor represents so you can see the art behind the scenes.
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My god, mother is one hell of a film.
wasabiteabag19 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
First of all, please don't watch this film if you have trouble understanding metaphors & symbolism.

It's pretty clear that there are quite a number of reviews/rants on this page with people expressing their hate towards the story and how it's been portrayed on screen. It's strange because it looks like they had absolutely no idea what they were watching... it's trivial and shallow to publish a review without any research. However, I do agree that it isn't an easy one to sit through, but some of the greatest films aren't. So again, please don't bother checking it out if your mind is closed, you won't appreciate this masterpiece.

To help deter unaccommodating opinions being regurgitated, I'll try to explain what made the film worth your time.

I believe there are two themes that can be interpreted from Mother!! Therefore, the use of an additional explanation mark is required.


Religious Theory;

Pretty sure the inconvenient truth to this theory is that when the sh*t hits the fan, mother doesn't like people messing up her house (Earth). Apparently, Darren Aronofsky is not religious but he likes strong environmental messages. He also wrote the script in 5 days.. how long did it take God to create the world? Just saying.

Jennifer Lawrence is (Mother) Earth — The house is Earth.

Javier Bardem (Him) is God — Creator of life on Earth, loves attention, and forgives everyone.

Ed Harris (Man) is Adam — Invited by God to Earth (aka house)

Michelle Pfeiffer (Woman) is Eve — Created from Adam's rib (scene where Ed Harris was sick on the toilet)

The crystal is the forbidden fruit (apple)

The baby is the bread at the last supper "Body of Christ"

Relationship Theory;

An extreme version of anxiety in a relationship that is deteriorating. The tense build-up in social interactions and how someone may view a scenario where they feel left out and forgotten. The jealousy someone feels when their bond is shared. Not paying attention to the needs of one another in a relationship. Having a baby to keep the relationship alive. All these emotions are magnified/multiplied by 100 to the point it's literally terrifying, so crazy that it may make you laugh. Finally, once the love has completely diminished, the only thing left is to leave and start again new.

Either way, this film is unique and original in the way it's portrayed, packaged and presented.

Hope you can appreciate the beauty of this Gothic religious tale / art-house opera and award the actors & production team that helped make it possible.
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Heavy Ingredients Severely Undercooked
danielledecolombie21 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I was in the right mood for a smart horror film, they used to be my favorite kind of film until they sort of disappeared, the smart part not the horror. I'm a huge fan of Polanski's The Tenant - it terrified me more than any other film, followed shortly by 2 other Roman Polanski masterpieces, Repulsion and Rosemary's Baby. There are others - Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now, Martin Donovan's Apartment Zero, Alex De La Iglesias's La Comunidad, Davin Lynch's Eraserhead and Blue Velvet in particular. Most of Luis Bunuel's work and a few others. Mother! reminded me somehow of some of them but it was just like a tease that didn't really matured into anything.Here everything is outrageously on the nose but not in a phenomenal Ken Russell way but in a rather obvious, unconvincing, "look at me" kind of thing. I love Jennifer Lawrence but in Mother! she wakes up at the beginning of the film and she's already panicky. Please, don't misunderstand me, I'm not suggesting a prequel! No, clearly Darren Aronfski gave the audience too much credit or not enough because for me, as a member of the audience, left me cold. I may have winced at the sight of blood but it didn't frighten me. The "wound" on the floor? Remember the hole in the wall of "The Tenant"? Maybe it's my fault. I've seen too many films and young audiences haven't. I've read some of the positive comments and I imagine they are from very young people who feel, quite rightly, they been given something besides Marvel and they have. I only hope they use it as a gateway to discover some of the "old" films. And as for Mother! what I enjoyed was the totally unexpected turn by Michelle Pfeiffer. Dark and funny, mocking or better still, paying tribute to Ruth Gordon - I imagine. I left the theater with a desperate need to revisit Rosemary's Baby and you know what? I will. So after all said and done, thank you.
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Art's Not Safe
kirkstraight17 September 2017
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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Story of Life from a Religious Perspective
aminrigi13 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Him is the God, the creator! Mother is the mother earth. Mother gives form and maintains the structure. God first invites Adam (the old man). Then from Adam's rib God creates Eve. Do you remember the scene in which Man's rib was wounded and he was throwing up?

Adam and Eve break the forbidden crystal (they ate the forbidden fruit).

Then we see the story of Abel and Cane. Cane kills Abel. Then mother's house, the earth, is populated with various religions and various ideologies. All of which pray God (or Him). But they become aggressive. They start to betray the earth.

And then the story of Jesus. Mother becomes Mary. It gives birth to Jesus. But Jesus followers eat him alive. They eat his blood and his flesh (wine and bread). And the story continues. The way the humanity is heading, Mother earth is doomed.

I liked the symbolism in this movie. But to me, as a semi-Nietzschean thinker, mother is the real God. For God is not separated from mother. God is mother's creation.

Mother = Earth.

I finish with this quote from Nietzsche:

"Remain faithful to the (mother) earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth. Thus I beg and beseech you. Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do—back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning."
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I want my 2 hours back!
ma_maclean14 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
In a nutshell..... The story of a writer-blocked poet (Bardem) and his beautiful young wife (Lawrence) who has adoring fans (including Ed Harris and his wife Michelle Pfeiffer) that flock to his home just to be in his presence. Forgive the run on sentence........Harris is dying of cancer, his two sons arrive to fight over his money, get into a fistfight and one gets killed, more fans arrive, Lawrence goes into labour, fans start to riot, tearing the house apart, she has the baby, he wants to show his fans, she says no, he sits and stares at her for days, she falls asleep, he takes the baby, shows his fans, they grab the baby, kill it and eat it, Mom goes nuts, runs to the basement with a wrench, bashed a hole in the oil tank and sets it on fire and blows up the whole place, Bardem carries her charred body, sets her down and proceeds to reach in her chest and take out her heart, with her permission. He squeezes her heart til it turns to glass, sets it in a stand, the next scene there's a new wife and the whole thing starts over again. There! Just saved you $'re welcome!
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Fell Incredibly Short of Expectations
bob-627-47723714 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I really like D. Aronofsky's films. As a whole, he has a solid corpus.

This film, however, had significant structural problems which shake its foundation as a film.

The film is split into two parts...Why? It's not clear. It's also not clear what the two plot-lines mean. There is not "real" connection to piece them together and the viewer is pushed to create their own...

This viewer sees a meaningless old testament - new testament relationship. But interplay? Not much. There seems to be a Cane and Able story in the first half. You know what happens... But how this is relevant to the main actors (the husband and wife) who take this couple and, subsequently, their two sons in. The husband and wife host the big family argument. Why? Dunno?

The second half, when J. Lawrence, has her child, we are thrust into a tired boy-Jesus plot line and his subsequent sacrifice a la New Testament plot themes. But why? And what do these two halves of the movie have to do with one another...apart from the first being an old testament story and the second being one from the new testament.

The ending is violent and contrived, yet is a very good dream sequence, albeit Lawrence is not dreaming (or is he?).

Two old Polanski homages, albeit super-heavy-handed, incessantly bombard you throughout the movie...The Apartment and Rosemary's Baby. But is it an homage or just meaningless lifting of motifs? The hole in the wall and the bloody hole (aka vagina) are direct parallels. As is the baby sacrifice or offering in both.

All in all it was watchable. Had some interesting points. Good camera work. Good effects. But the story doesn't hold up on any level, except in the mind of some viewers who need to stitch it together and make sense of it themselves in their own way...Perhaps that was the abstract goal.
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Aronofsky's mother! will be hated by many, but loved by a precious few
matthewacollier16 September 2017

Horrifying. Just.. horrifying. Aronofsky really got me with this one. Not only did he manage to grab me on an intellectual level, but also on an emotional one. This movie is going to be hated by many, I know that now. But for me, this is, hands down, the movie of the year. Every shot, cut, and scream is perfectly constructed to make an immersive atmosphere that never relents in it's uncomfortable feeling, and the acting is seriously award worthy. Javier Bardem is absolutely wonderful, and Jennifer Lawrence... oh man... her performance is absolutely top notch. At first I couldn't quite relate to her character, but as the film progressed, her mindset became my mindset, and we essentially merged into one force of fear and terror that was absolutely unstoppable until the ending. I cannot praise her performance enough in this review. Her emotions leaked from every frame she was in, and it broke my heart and scared me witless the whole way through the film. Aronofsky's pacing is immaculate as well, the whole movie feeling not a second too slow or quick, the events rolling on naturally and in a way that felt very satisfying. The whole way through, I was riveted and invested by the acting and cinematography, which is definitely Aronofsky's best I've seen so far. The entire film is gripping, horrifying, heartbreaking, and absolutely wonderful. Nothing about this movie pulled me out of it. Watching this in a theater was like being in a bomb shelter while the world ended, every sound apocalyptic and every camera shake filling my view. If you can, watch this on the biggest screen you can with the best surround sound you can afford. If you only watch one movie this year, make it this one. This movie is incredible. This is why I study the movies.
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It made me miss Rosemary Woodhouse
fanaticusanonymous15 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Darren Aronfsky is a director I follow, even since Pi. He's daring and unpredictable. I loved Requiem For A Dream and Black Swan, the rest of his opus has left me puzzled or downright annoyed. Mother! belongs to the later. All the element's were there - Rosemary's Baby written by Edward Albee - that's what I thought right up to Michelle Pfeiffer's entrance, then something happened - The movie falls through a totally unbelievable, hysterical downward spiral. What? Yes, exactly. Jennifer Lawrence suffers, puffs and moans from the very first frame, well second frame. She's afraid from the word go. She could run away but for some reason she never ventures out of the house. Questions like that become a massive obstacle for us to care and feel connected - Think of Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby or Colin Firth in Apartment Zero - co-habitating with a devil, surrounded by sinister neighbors or unwanted visitors. Those films also had sensational scripts and the narrative even when symbolic was always solidly based on the story at hand - Here it feels like gimmicks - One idea and then round and round the mulberry bush. I don't know how many times she shouts at her husband "Please make them leave" - Jennifer Lawrence goes through it valiantly and vociferously. Javier Bardem as the egomaniacal husband is absurdly unconvincing - and I'm a devoted a fan - Michelle Pfeiffer is the one who brings something new to the proceedings and a truly startling performance. Other than that, I'm sorry to say no to Mother!
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The day director Aronofsky made a short film into a 2 hour artsy feature...
claus-4913 May 2018
This film is so out of its own genre. Don't get me wrong - this is not a bad film! It is captivating, interesting and performance of both the Talent and the movie director and the effects team is not bad at all.

What I absolutely loathe about it, is how in love the director is with this whole concept that it ends up as self-indulgence and artsy fartsiness. Aronofsky completely loses himself over an idea and forgets to tell a story.

It's not that a film needs to have a certain storyline or points or profound happy endings and all that. It's just a matter of a movie being worthwhile. Our time is our most valuable asset in this world. And this movie just isn't worth the time. This film is a pointless charade. A tour de force of how a good craftsman can completely decide against giving the audience anything than a glimpse of an idea.. YES this film has a message to you and it is BIG but it is in essence also completely pointless as a film. Keep those 121 minutes of your life and spend them on something worthwhile... I would say the message of this film would be worthy of a 6 minutes short film or the Breaking News banner of CNN. Not a bad message, and not unimportant either. This is just the kind of storyteller at a party who will spend eternity of getting to a point that is just not that interesting.

It is in fact sad.. how the countless countless countless breathtaking scenes all leads to .. well - nothing more than a directors own tribute to an idea...
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If there is a movie theater in hell, this is playing there
johnellsworth21 September 2017
I have been going to the movies for 45 years. This is, hands down, the worst movie I have ever seen. I mean, I hated this movie. Plan 9 From Outer Space and The Room were at least entertaining. This is like being locked in a cell with a stoned college student who can't shut up and thinks that every opinion they have, is the final word on a subject for 2 hours. Jennifer Lawrence should stick to roles that require her to paint herself blue or shoot arrows. Darren Aronofsky wants to be Luis Buñuel but he's closer to Uwe Boll. He cites The Exterminating Angel as the inspiration for Mother! I agree, in the sense that I did feel like one of the dinner guests who can't leave in Buñuel's classic during the course of watching Mother after paying 13 bucks to see this pretentious, heavy handed waste of time. Do yourself a favor, don't go see this movie, you won't get the 2 hours of your life back if you do. When it shows up on The Movie Channel playing at 3 in the morning in a couple of months, don't even set your DVR to record it. There are infomercials about gardening tools on at the same time, that are much more entertaining to watch that this.
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sarrge-3004516 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Mother! is a disaster, a car wreck and a movie abortion that lived. There are no plot points that get resolved - only plot warts and chancres that will forever make you regret that one night you had with Aronofsky.

Remember how you watched years of Lost and toiled over the minutia seeking clues and resolutions that never came? Yup. Except at least there the ride had it's merits. This, however, is a journey down a cinematic hole akin to a journey through a broken car wash... over and over. You hear the gears clanking. You hear the water flowing... somewhere.

And the whole time you think, "This makes no sense... but the reveal, the twist, the wrap-up will be epic!" Nope. Zero.

And if anyone sugar-coats this or tries to say, "well, you just didn't 'get it,' either kick them in the nuts or boob punch them for failing the "is-that-dookie-or-chocolate-cake" test. This is *clearly* dookie. There is NO cake. There is NO PRETENDING that this is cake. The trailer pretended this is cake. The trailer lied.

This is not a horror. This is 2 hours of "just how uncomfortable can we make Jennifer Lawrence appear?" The truth is bit like letting your 3-year-old into the kitchen to cook. You will find a bowl of cereal and ketchup, milk and raw fish, flour and dry Cool Aid powder and a hundred other ingredients - that when used separately and in any other setting might make a meal. But here they just make a mess. A disgusting, boring, unresolved ass fest.
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complete waste of 2hrs
philoz-2227920 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Went to see this film hoping that it would be a decent one but very disappointed, wanted to leave after 1 hr but stayed in case things got better how wrong was that!! The film has a good cast but the plot is numbingly boring it is like a remake of 'Rosemary's Baby' but with more people than you would find at rush hour on the district line at the end of it. I cannot recommend this film to anyone.
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Art is not shoving everything into a blender...
Alondro18 September 2017
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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I created an account literally to rate/review this movie
jeffreykorolischuk18 September 2017
30+ years of watching movies and never created an account. That is how bad this movie was, it made me want to contribute to a lower rating. I would rate it negative 10 if I could. Anyone who tries to sell it as an allegory should never be allowed to review anything ever again. I respect everyone's opinions, but don't even think about trying to sell it with that justification. Literally the worst excuse for a movie ever. If you want to sit there for 2+ hours with WTF face, please see this movie.
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Mother Nature, and how we are killing ourselves.
Kimcritic18 September 2017
A lot of the fake reviews here are from people with ignorant, political perspectives. They want you to hate someone's piece of art based on their own emotional issues toward an actor or idea.

The film is a true work of art, displaying US and OUR collective, destructive behavior, right in your face! Darren doesn't care what you or some critic thinks, he did this because he had to. We are killing ourselves and our MOTHER and this is an artful yet harsh, radical reminder of that.

Watch this film so that more chances can be made in Hollywood. We are also killing our children's brains with all of the comic-book junk they usually make and artful films like this don't and won't get chances to be digested without support.
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Very disappointing
shaimaamahmoud31 January 2018
I expected much more from such movie cast... My first time ever to check a movie's reviews to understand what was the moral or the message that costs that much of horror and non sense...
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Not what people expect from a horror movie.
laneerickson18 September 2017
Normally, horror movies traffic in fear of being startled.The feeling is similar to talking with someone who says "I'm going to jump at you" and then keeps up the threats: "you'll be startled, just watch... I'm going to make a loud noise... you'll not know when..."

That's annoying, but not very genuinely frightening, not any more than a champagne bottle in a dark room.

This movie instead confuses, frustrates, and deeply unsettles you. The logic in it is absurd and dreamlike. I've never come as close to having a nightmare while I was awake.

That's not what the average person wants. It's hard to enjoy a movie like that if you think you're smart so you spend time poking holes in absurd logic that is up-front about its absurdity. It's also hard to enjoy if you are in some other way dense or unempathetic. An average person looking for an engaging series of loud noises would be very upset with this movie.

I've not seen anything in theaters as bizarre and upsetting as this. It's very stressful. I hope it makes money. I want more directors to take risks.

Aside from the buzz, I'll say I've never been as moved by a movie. It captures powerlessness perfectly. It is the best movie I have seen.
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Moab (Mother of all Box-Office Bombs)
aciessi16 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
These days, we live in a world where most things are terrible and don't make any sense. Yet, a film like Mother! can still come along and disgust audiences. A film so off-putting, Rex Reed declared it "The worst film of the century". Make no mistake, Mother! is a profoundly polarizing film. But that is only because it went mainstream. It stars mainstream actors. It's distributed by Paramount. In recent years, the art-house and the multiplex have never crossed paths. But as the era of the blockbuster fades away, it was only a matter of time for Hollywood to return back to it's roots. To bring us back to the late 1960's, where most films meant something. Films that grab you. Films that push serious boundaries. I rarely leave a theater shaken. But Mother! did just that. It is a beautiful, terrifying assault on your senses.

Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem play a lovely couple. Bardem is a struggling poet, while Lawrence tends to her house obsessively. Everything seems fine on the surface. What's that, you ask? The house has a heart! I admit the deed! Tear up the planks! Here, here! It's the beating of his hideous heart! ... and scene. Thank you for indulging me. No seriously, the house has a heart.. and internal organs. It's a living entity. I heard of the phrase "Home is where the heart is" but this is ridiculous. Is it? Lawrence plays someone that wants to be a mother to something. Her house? What happens when adoring fans come rushing in to see Bardem? Unwelcome visitors all! They wreck the house and impede on Lawrence's hard work. This must not go on. To fill the void, Bardem and Lawrence conceive a child. As the days go on, the guest list becomes bigger and bigger. By the film's midpoint, the house becomes a small city of thieves and squatters. After that, I must not share anymore. Because if you're already confused by what I'm telling you.. you don't know what confused is, my friend.

How does one interpret Mother! It's the quintessential art-house/midnight movie. Therefore, anything is plausible. Aronofsky intended it that way. He juggles many concepts and critiques about life itself. Motherhood, paranoia, fame, claustrophobia, selfishness, lust, rage, war, peace, religion, gender, history.. Mother! is whatever you want it to be and more. If you know that going in, this will be a breeze. If you don't, you will loathe every second of this film and I won't blame you. It is a lot to swallow. The climax of the picture is well orchestrated insanity. Arguably, the most intense sequence of events captured on screen since Children of Men. By comparison, Requiem for a Dream is almost entirely palpable. You sit back in your seat and think "Enough already. This is too much. Wow. It's not stopping. Please stop.". But that is precisely the point. Aronofsky does not let up until you are mentally drained from watching. But at least to ease some of the pain, you see a lot of Jennifer Lawrence's face, up-close. Most of the film is on her face. In real life, she is in a relationship with Aronofsky. Coincidence? No, not a coincidence. This is the mark of a filmmaker madly in love with his star. On an emotional level, that shows.

Mother! is not a film to go into blind.. but that certainly helps the experience. Polarizing, disturbing films are not crowd pleasures by any stretch, but that's never been an area that bothers me. Films like these fascinate me. Their lack of decorum fascinates me. The reactions from the audience fascinate me. On Lars Von Trier's best day, he couldn't have conjured a film like Mother! .. and if he did, he would've have let it be seen in a shopping mall.
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Comedy Of Horrors, perhaps
Kopelson-Group16 September 2017
Maybe the intention was to make a terrifying comedy about, about, about...well, I'm not sure. A Mother! like that with an exclamation mark? An artist with an ego bigger than their house? Who knows. I certainly tried to cling on to something but I couldn't. It seems like a terrible confession to make but the truth is I couldn't care less about that mother because I didn't believe in her plight and couldn't understand her behavior. Jennifer Lawrence is a terrific actress we all know that but here, she screams and screams while I glanced at my watch with mounting impatience. Borrowing from other, better films, doesn't help, on the contrary, it irritates. Rosemary's Baby came to mind as well as The Tenant, Apartment Zero, Common Wealth. All films that terrified me without explicit gore and superb screenplays. Mother! seems like an interesting idea totally derailed by an out of control ego.
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