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June 27, 2019 | Rome, Italy

Mother!

By | 2018-03-21T20:11:55+02:00 October 30th, 2017|Reviews|

3.5

Date: 2017

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Starring: Javier Bardem, Jennifer Lawrence, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ed Harris

The frustrated, blocked writer has been at the center of some excellent films, including “Sunset Boulevard” (1950, featuring a naive William Holden) and “The Shining” (1980, with an insane Jack Nicholson). The writer in “Mother!”, a needy, self-consumed, nameless Javier Bardem, yearns to recapture the Famous Poet status he once had.

Seeking stimulation, intense experience, and ultimately adulation of the highest order, he invites a series of strangers into his isolated (it lacks even a driveway) Victorian mansion, much to the chagrin of his much younger, devoted, overwhelmed, socially isolated, and soon-to-be pregnant wife (Mother, played by Jennifer Lawrence).

Things get out of hand, first in small ways —guests/invaders, among them a wonderfully irritating Michelle Pfeiffer, violate the couple’s space and privacy and call their relationship into question — then on an epic scale that some viewers will find excessive, others gross and offensive.

Religious symbolism abounds: Cain and Abel, the virgin birth, the stigmata, and a horrific communion. “Rosemary’s Baby” meets “Apocalypse Now.”

William Graebner and Dianne Bennett
William Graebner is Emeritus Professor of History, State University of New York, Fredonia, where he taught Film and American Culture. Dianne Bennett, the first woman to head a large U.S. law firm, is a mostly retired U.S. tax lawyer. They blog about Italy and can't resist movies.

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