Mother is a gothic story in which a couples tranquil life is disturbed by a pair of unexpected guests who turn their lives upside down. Working on multiple levels and leaving each person with their own unique tale on what the film is supposed to mean.
Mother is a deeply pretentious mess which people have convinced themselves is deeply meaningful because writer director Darren Aronosky (who also directed Black Swan) never got around to giving any of his characters names
And I know that the criticverse has taken a monastic vow of silence about the actual plot of the film but I promise you, the less you know going in, the better your experience will be.
What I will say though is that towards the end of the third act, this film contains one of the most graphic, brutal and revolting scenes I’ve seen in a film. It feels like something that the film has been building towards but hasn’t quite earned. It’s pace was too sedate, it’s setting too small to earn it. Because for about 95% of the film, the camera is aimed squarely at Laurences face.
And normally I wouldn’t mind a film where Laurences face takes up most of the screen for all of the runtime as she attempts to do up a huge mansion, support her poet husband (who is suffering from severe writer’s block) and deal with people who allegedly mistook then for a b and b, never quite get around to introducing themselves and don’t seem to want to go anywhere.
That and the house seems to be invading her mind, Making her doubt her own sanity and us question what is and isn’t real…
Look, Laurence gives an amazing performance and she deserves the Oscar nomination she’s probably going to get for this and I get why there are no monologues or real backstories given to anyone but there is a difference to following someone in their story and just looking at their face for two hours
And the takes are too short as well. A film like this needs long, sweeping takes, especially becuse the house (which we never leave) looks like one giant set. Instead, the camera cuts every few seconds and it quickly became annoying and distracting.
It is effective in provoking reaction and several people were outside it discussing what it really meant. But several people walked out and I understood both reactions. This is a film that will feature on a lot of top and bottom ten lists at the end of the year.
With longer takes, a more intense third act that actually deserved it’s shocking finale this could have been the masterpiece it wants so badly to be. As it is, it’s a flawed, pretentious work of art.
My Score- See It