mother! - 9/10
Oh man...where do I begin with this one. Darren Aronofsky has made some artsy and opaque films before, but mother! has to be most artsy and most opaque film he has made to date. It stars a couple, played by Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem, living in a big beautiful home in what seems to be the middle of nowhere. It's almost immediately apparent that something is up with this house. Something is peculiar and that's what makes the first half of the film so unsettling. The first half shows off the emotions that Lawrence's character goes through when random strangers make themselves at home in their house. They break social norms. They invade her personal space. It's unnerving watching the events that take place. You begin to feel that something is about to pop off.
Boy oh boy does shit pop off. The second half of the movie is off-the-walls, bat-shit crazy. It's a flaming locomotive train that begins to derail, hurdling into a forest where it proceeds to catch the trees on fire, taking the entire forest down with it. There is so much going on in the film's second half that it starts to become hard to follow at times. However, what's taking place on screen is so brilliantly shot that it becomes hard to look away at the distressing events that are taking place inside the home. It all surmounts to an explosive finish that leaves you staring at the screen, partly wondering what the hell just happened.
How the film is interpreted depends on who you talk to. Some say it's a religious allegory (that's the conclusion I came to) while some say it's a study of what it's like to live with a genius. Those are just two takeaways from what happens to be a very perplexing film. It's full of smart imagery and top-notch acting. It's a film that will make you think...which very well might be a turn off for some. I'll admit that I don't know exactly what took place, but I think I have a good understanding of the story that Aronofsky was trying to tell. (But then again, he's said in interviews that the movie is about climate change....so who the fuck really knows...) If you are not a fan of Aronofsky's past work, then this will be a slippery slope for you. It's not a film that will gel with everyone. Given it's bad CinemaScore, it also wasn't marketed the right way either.
Anyhow, this is by far one of the most unique, unsettling, and curious films I have seen all year. It's crazy in the most fucked-up ways.