Seeing is believing

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. In the beginning of Mother!, Darren Aronofsky creates a heaven on earth in the form of a massive home in the countryside, inhabited by a nameless woman (Jennifer Lawrence) and her similarly anonymous poet husband (Javier Bardem). The two are in love and their days are filled with leisurely meals and lazy wanderings from room to room. Until one day, when a stranger (Ed Harris) comes knocking. He’s looking for help, and the husband takes a shine to him. Soon, the stranger is joined by his overtly sexual wife (Michelle Pfeiffer), and their two warring sons (Brian and Domhnall Gleeson). And then – well, all hell breaks loose. Mother! is, literally, Aronofsky’s very own creation myth, a profoundly upsetting and furious apology for what he considers humanity’s original sin: existence.

Poster for Darren Aronofsky's provocative allegory, Mother!For devout members of the Church of Aronofsky, Mother! is a masterpiece. A frenzied plunge into Aronofsky’s deepest fears and humanity’s darkest temptations, it can be viewed as the latest escalation in the director’s bombastic aesthetic, all chaos and carnage. Mother! is an unparalleled and unprecedented achievement. The world is lucky to have Mother! I am lucky to have witnessed it. Lawrence and Bardem and Harris and Pfeiffer are lucky to have worked on such a once-in-a-lifetime project. But I am also happy that I will never have to watch it again.

– Barry Hertz, The Globe And Mail

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