Darren Aronofsky's psychological drama Mother! Is a descent into chaos, told through the eyes of a woman whose home, which she shares with her poet husband, is invaded by various guests. Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, and Michelle Pfeiffer, the film has an audience score of 53% on Rotten Tomatoes, though critics are more favorable at 74%. Here's what critics are saying:
- Like Aronofsky's other films (Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream), Mother! is "assaultive" and clearly "not for everyone." But "viewers willing to accept the challenge will be rewarded with passages embodying extraordinary moods and images" in "another of Aronofsky's ominous extravaganzas," writes Walter Addiego at the San Francisco Chronicle. He applauds the entire "top-notch cast," but especially Lawrence.
- The actress "proves once again what a supernatural screen presence she is, delivering a performance of transparency, stillness, physical grit and self-sacrificing courage," writes Ann Hornaday at the Washington Post. Mother! on the other hand is an "intriguing but ultimately frustratingly undisciplined experiment … whose sense of claustrophobia becomes woozily stifling," writes Hornaday. An "outlandish climax" is off-putting, to boot.
- But Lindsey Bahr calls the movie "one of Aronofsky's best." It's "an audacious, bold and fascinating fever dream of a film" and an "allegory for, well, everything," she writes at the AP. It "will get under your skin, that's a guarantee," but the film also has moments that are "funny, human and relatable," writes Bahr, crediting Lawrence's "truly stunning" performance. According to Bahr, she's "never been better."
- According to Barry Hertz, Mother! is a "once-in-a-lifetime film" that, at the very least, will make viewers feel something. But for fans of Aronofsky, "Mother! is a masterpiece … a frenzied plunge into Aronofsky's deepest fears and humanity's darkest temptations," he writes at the Globe and Mail. "The world is lucky to have Mother! I am lucky to have witnessed it," he adds. "But I am also happy that I will never have to watch it again."
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