mother! 2017. USA. Directed by Darren Aronofsky. DCP. 121 min.
The year’s most divisive film is not here to please. Jennifer Lawrence, in a tour-de-force performance, plays a young wife being dragged through hell as uninvited guests invade her home and destroy the paradise she has painstakingly renovated. Her narcissistic, insensitive husband (Javier Bardem) welcomes these loathsome strangers because they adore his poetry. Trapping Lawrence in a tight close-up half the time, the film confines both the tragic heroine and the audience to an inescapable inferno in full assault mode. Laden with biblical allusions, mother! can also be read as an allegory for environmental destruction, a surrealist horror tale, a psychological thriller, a wicked comedy, or simply a tale of domestic abuse. It’s all up to you—if you dare take the ride. Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.