Mother! (stylized as mother!) is a 2017 American psychological horror film written and directed by Darren Aronofsky, and starring Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, and Michelle Pfeiffer. The plot follows a young woman whose tranquil life with her husband at their country home is disrupted by the arrival of a mysterious couple. The movie was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 74th Venice International Film Festival, and premiered there on September 5, 2017. It was released in the United States on September 15, 2017, by Paramount Pictures.
A young woman spends her days renovating the Victorian mansion that she lives in with her husband in the countryside. When a stranger knocks on the door one night, he becomes an unexpected guest in their home. Later, his wife and two children also arrive to make themselves welcome. Terror soon strikes when the beleaguered wife tries to figure out why her husband is so seemingly friendly and accommodating to everyone but her.
- The main problem with the film is that it has no reason to exist. What is the point of the film? Is Darren Aronofsky making fun of God? Is he making fun of the creative process or something else entirely? The point of this film remains a mystery, leaving a highly nonsensical tale passed on as a movie.
- This film has no story, at all. Instead, all it really has is a subplot, which has nothing to do with the film, and after the subplot, the film completely just throws itself out the window with completely random stuff.
- The movie shows that director Darren Aronofsky didn't know what an allegory is.
- The film is flooded with unnecessary biblical allegories that tries way too hard to be a horror but fails miserably and ends up being pretentious garbage that doesn't make sense at all. It's supposed to be a modern representation of the Bible, but it just leaves audiences confused and perplexed about what's going on in the movie.
- The acting, for most time, is just terrible, especially for Javier Bardem, and Ed Harris.
- Who the hell even invited the couple into the house?
- The characters in the movie are one-dimensional, and Mother is just Jennifer Lawrence looking uncomfortable for two hours. The viewer doesn't really care for them since they never develop at all.
- Him is never very "godlike" since his revelation as "God" is only revealed at the end, which is a classic example of telling and not showing.
- Mother also shares a similar problem. She demonstrates none of the qualities common to the portrayals of Mother Earth. Instead, she is aloof, credulous, and dense. Instead of a Mother Earth figure that was sympathetic and relatable, we get a robot whose demise is highly boring and met with yawns.
- Laughable dialogue, such as Mother's "Murders! Murders! It's time to get the fuck, out of my house!" line.
- All-Mother really says to Him is "Please make them leave", trying to demand the couple to leave their house.
- The ending. To put it briefly, Mother causes an oil tank to explode, killing everyone except for her and Him. She is horrifically burned while Him is left unharmed. Then, Him rips out Mother's heart and crushes it with his hands, revealing a new crystal and restoring the house. And what happens next? A new Mother wakes up in bed, wondering where Him is.
- Darren Aronofsky reacted very negatively to the film receiving an "F" on CinemaScore, saying that "How if you walk out of this movie are you not going to give it an 'F'? ... We wanted to make a punk movie and come at you. And the reason I wanted to come is because I was very sad and I had a lot of anguish and I wanted to express it.".
- The concept is somewhat interesting and creative despite being not handled well.
- Jennifer Lawrence and Michelle Pfeiffer's performances are amazing.
- The piano cover of the 1962 song "It's The End of the World" in the end credits is actually beautiful to listen to.
- The CGI effects from the are somewhat good to look at it.
- Speaking of WIS #9 that quote and other more quotes from this film can sound funny for some.
- The scene of the baby being eaten is actually scary and extremely traumatizing.
- One of the posters are well-drawn.
mother! strongly divided both critics and audiences, who praised Aronofsky's direction and the performances, particularly of Lawrence and Pfeiffer. The film received both boos and a standing ovation during its premiere at the Venice Film Festival. Its biblical allegories and depiction of violence sparked controversy. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 68%, based on 376 reviews, and an average rating of 7.0/10. The audiences score was 51%, based on over 25,000 ratings, and an average rating of 2.9/5. The website's critical consensus reads, "There's no denying that mother! is the thought-provoking product of a singularly ambitious artistic vision, though it may be too unwieldy for mainstream tastes.". On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 75 out of 100, based on reviews from 51 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a rare average grade of "F" on an A+ to F scale, making it one of twenty-two films to receive the score, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave a 51% overall positive and a 33% "definite recommend". The movie received a 6.6/10 on IMDb.
mother! grossed $17.8 million in the United States and Canada and $26.7 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $44.5 million, against a production budget of $30 million, making it a box office bomb.
mother! was nominated at the 38th Golden Raspberry Awards of Worst Director for Darren Aronofsky, Worst Actress for Jennifer Lawrence, and Worst Supporting Actor for Javier Bardem (also for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales), though it received backlash from audiences and critics, especially Lawrence's nomination, whose performance was praised by critics.
- mother! is the first Aronofsky film without composer Clint Mansell's involvement. The film originally had a score composed by Jóhann Jóhannsson, but after seeing the 90-minute score synced up with a rough cut of the film, Aronofsky and Jóhannsson agreed not to use the original score. They experimented with using the score at only a few moments, or instead using a new minimal score focused on sound design that incorporated noises into the soundscape of the house. Ultimately, they went with the second choice, and Jóhannsson's work merged with the sound design of Craig Henighan.