This is a question from yer aunt: “Should I watch ‘mother!’ considering that I get the Baptist vapors?”
We both assumed from trailers that “mother!” has a satanic bent, and I can verify that it has a “Rosemary’s Baby” feel, but “mother!” is not precisely a satanic story.
The short answer is… no, yer aunt should not watch “mother!”
SPOILERS BELOW (unless saying that Baptists probably would not enjoy the film is a spoiler, in which case, SPOILERS ABOVE).
I promised to screen it for her and pass on my verdict and while I can say that it is not at all the most horrifying film I have seen in the past few years, and while I think she could follow and appreciate the artistic twists and details, I believe that she would not enjoy it as a whole.
I cannot think of any mothers in my acquaintance that would really enjoy “mother!” but I’m sure there are some out there. They would be the cerebral moms with iron stomachs. They are the moms who have seen some twisted shit and said, “Uh-huh.” They are the badasses that did not slow their popcorn eating during “Django Unchained.”
“mother!” isn’t satanic so much as anti-God. Actually, I’m a bit impressed that it has me mulling the difference between those things.
It’s beautifully put together, so that may be enough for some aunts. The visual design is magnificent, and the sound design is great. It suggests throughout that the cast is on a creaky old wooden sailing ship that is in very rough seas, indeed.
The movie has at least two big messages. The first is that women should be able to scream, “Get the fuck outta my house!” and be obeyed, and the second is that God isn’t very interested in our concerns and finds our fears quaint and adorable.
This assumes that Jennifer Lawrence is not just a stand-in for womankind, but for humankind and Javier Bardem is God. Javier is aloof, he says he wants children but does not have sex, he says he needs the adulation of a crowd instead of a devoted woman for inspiration. When she most needs him he not only deserts her, but betrays her. His uncritical acceptance of all comers ruins everything, over and over again.
It’s heavy stuff, but the upset is in the details. Does anyone need to see a beloved heroine trip over a bloody vagina floor? Did I forget some wish to see Kristen Wiig executing people? Do we really need to see a beautiful baby meet possibly the worst imaginable fate? For me, even scenes of Michelle Pfeiffer and Ed Harris energetically snogging cannot make up for that baby business.
Michelle looks great, though. I got the feeling that she would be able to kick anyone out of her house with no problem.
It’s not hard to see why so many people actively hated this film. Perversely, that always makes me want to give an extra heart. That’s still only three hearts.
Would not re-watch
Would not recommend (except to THOSE moms)
♥ No numbness during viewing (also many people hate this film)
♥ Exceptional execution (visuals, sounds, sets, costumes, acting)
♥ Excellent writing (seriously ambitious script that deserves some recognition)
I’m not sorry I watched it, but I feel like I’m now a step closer to being one of those moms that watches a deep batch of insanity and just says, “Uh-huh.”