‘Mother!’ Movie Review Roundup: Darren Aronofsky Horror Flick Doesn’t Disappoint
Darren Aronofsky‘s horror/thriller Mother! is getting great reviews from critics and viewers alike, earning a 71% on Rottentomatoes. The film, starring Aronofsky’s real-life girlfriend Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, and Michelle Pfeiffer. We follow along through Lawrence’s perspective, as an unnamed mother, as strange houseguests come into her home, and appear to know her husband, Bardem. The ride gets wilder as viewers, and Lawrence, fall into a scary nightmare, that Bardem seems to be familiar with already.
MOTHER! REVIEW ROUNDUP
“The world is lucky to have Mother! I am lucky to have witnessed it. Lawrence and Bardem and Harris and Pfeiffer are lucky to have worked on such a once-in-a-lifetime project. But I am also happy that I will never have to watch it again.”
–Barry Hertz, The Globe and Mail
“The best way to see this film is knowing as little as possible. When we’re clued into Aronofsky’s thought process, it leads to a sense that his metaphor is a little too on-the-nose as we plunge into the absolutely insane climax of the film. However, what makes mother! brilliant is that it is open enough to read and project your own experiences onto it, which makes it deeply personal and universal. More than any metaphor about the state of the world, mother! is a film about being in a relationship with a narcissist: someone who takes and takes and takes all of your love down to the very last drop without ever giving anything back. Any viewer can place their own experiences on top of this story, and ultimately, hopefully, honestly consider what it fully means to give, and to take.”
–Katie Walsh, Star News
“It’s hard to believe that Aronofsky does not have Rosemary’s Baby in mind as he recounts the Lawrence character’s growing sense of paranoia and isolation. No one seems to understand why she’s upset about what amounts to a home invasion, one that’s going to reach apocalyptic dimensions. The outsiders are rude, destructive, menacing figures who sneer at her concerns… Aronofky gets exactly what he needs from his top-notch cast. Lawrence is appealing and never allows herself to be reduced simply to a howling victim. Bardem, Harris and Pfeiffer are menacing in their own varying ways, with Bardem capable of turning on the charm at key times that makes us wonder if we haven’t misjudged him. In short, if you’re game for it, Mother! is another of Aronofsky’s ominous extravaganzas.”
–Walter Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle
“Lawrence is thoroughly appealing, as always, as a desperate everywoman, and Pfeiffer, with her salt-and-vinegar voice, is delicious in her strangely creepy role — she’s the only person on screen who seems to be having a bit of fun. But mother!, for this viewer, felt long and punishing; artful yet self-sabotaging, eventually crumbling. I never looked away — but I never want to see it again.”
–Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times
“mother! can be difficult to pin down, but as it ramps up toward its demented climax — the escalation is impressive in its calculation — it works on a visual and psychological level. Lawrence is a powerhouse: she’s almost always framed in close-up, her angelic face expressing some form of anguished desperation, and she gives a tightly controlled, panicked, maddened performance. The poor thing looks like she just needs to be held. Bardem is wonderful, balanced somewhere between aloof and malicious, while Harris and Pfeiffer are excellent as unscrupulous houseguests from hell. Ultimately, mother! belongs to Aronofsky and his vision of domestic apocalypse. It’s a tough nut to crack, but it’s a trip to trying to break it open. Exclamation point earned.”
–Adam Graham, Detroit News
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