Artistic ambition can be a bitch in this day and age. Just try to make a movie that doesn’t sound or look like your typical Hollywood film and the angry dogs will be out to get you. That’s Darren Aronofsky, from “Requiem for a Dream” to “Black Swan”, he delights in stirring controversy. I’ve had my share of bad experiences when it comes to his movies (I thought “The Fountain” was dreadful), but unlike many critics and fans, I thought his latest effort, “Mother!”, was absolutely sensational.
But how do you talk about this movie without spoiling its endless symbolic moments? That’s your call. In terms of plot, I’ll only say that Javier Bardem plays a famous poet living in seclusion in a big country house with his wife, played with ferocity and feeling by Jennifer Lawrence. Then two unexpected guests (Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer, never better) arrive one day , and things go crazy from that moment on. Aronofsky draws us almost instantly into the web of these characters.
It’s a simple story on the surface, but wait till you see where the movie takes you. My advice? Go with it. Chances are, you’ve never seen a movie like “Mother!” before. And at the center of it all is Jennifer Lawrence; her incomparable performance, an accumulation of moods from happiness to anger to sadness, never strikes a false note.
Aronofsky, a master when it comes to controversy, pushes his limits once again, and ours. Will it appeal to an audience seeking a straightforward “invasion” story? Probably not. But for fans of Aronofsky and ambitious filmmaking, “Mother!” is unmissable and unforgettable. You won’t be able to get it out of your head.