Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer, mother! is rated R for strong disturbing violent content, some sexuality, nudity, and language. It’s directed by Darren Aronofsky of Black Swan and Requiem for a Dream fame.
There will be think pieces piled on top of think pieces picking over the obvious religious topics that this movie delves into. I will leave those topics to those who are more qualified than I. At a basic level, Mother! Is the story of the Bible presented in a very fresh, new way.
Lawrence is Mother Earth (although never actually given that name). Bardem is called “the poet” throughout but is obviously a physical manifestation of a creator or God. The movie is a heartbreaking look at how humans have raped and pillaged Mother Earth over the millennia. You are forced by the direction of the movie to focus solely on Lawrence and her confusion, heartbreak, and fury as the events unfold around her. After watching, you will think twice before you fail to recycle or fill up your SUV.
But, if we take 3 steps back and simply look at this movie on its face, it’s every single married woman who is being neglected by her partner. Lawrence is firing on all cylinders here with a raw emotion that will feel familiar to every woman in the audience. She rotates between begging for her needs to be met and raging at being ignored by everyone around her. For this alone, I was moved to tears more than once. Mother is also never physically safe; her fear is familiar and therefore terrifying in its realness.
This movie is going to polarize audiences. There will be very few people who leave the theater without feeling strongly one way or the other. I am hoping that Aronofsky’s unique exploration of Biblical themes doesn’t turn off viewers and make them miss this masterpiece of a film.
I was completely swept away into Aronofsky’s world. I simultaneously wanted to hide my face and not miss a single second. I give my very first review score of a solid 5 out of 5 stars. I cannot wait to hear what each of you think of this movie in the comments!