Mother!

Year: 2017
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer

Written by Sasha Hornby

‘Mother!’ is the latest film written and directed by American auteur Darren Aronofsky, director of ‘Black Swan’ and ‘Requiem for a Dream’, about a couple whose relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home.¬† At least, this is what the official synopsis and trailers would like you to believe; the tagline ‘seeing is believing’ has rarely been more apt.¬†

‘Mother!’ is part metaphysical thriller, part psychological drama, sometimes black comedy and perhaps a little surreal mystery.¬† In all honesty, it defies description.¬† The film takes place entirely in one beautifully quaint, grand house.¬† Burned down at an unspecified point in history, Jennifer Lawrence’s character, ‘Mother’, has painstakingly restored the abode in which she resides with Javier Bardem’s character, ‘Him’, whilst he sits in his study suffering from chronic writer’s block.¬† When the ‘Man’ and ‘Woman’ (Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer) turn up univited, the paradise Mother is building begins to unwind.

Jennifer Lawrence as Mother is transcendent.¬† Undoubtedly a career-best performance, ‘Mother!’ is her film.¬† Rarely panning out beyond 12 inches from her face when she is the focus, and when she isn’t, giving only her viewpoint of the world around her, the camera is her.¬† Her sanity and reality is consistently brought into question, and so too is the viewer’s.¬† In one scene, she questions Him about the supposed stranger, “he has pictures of you in his luggage”.¬† Instead of attempting to explain this obvious non-coincidence, he simply retorts “what were you doing in their luggage?”. There is a lot to be said for instinct, and it is natural for a person to investigate when something feels wrong or out of place; such as a man turning up at your door claiming ‘they’ told him the house was a B&B.¬† Him is elusive in his non-answer, twisting the narrative, and manipulating Mother to feel she is in the wrong.

She personifies introversion and anxiety – unable to leave the house she has built and unwilling to accept visitors.¬† As hers are the eyes through which we see events unfold, her agitation and emotional strain begin to fuse with our own, making for an increasingly intense and claustrophobic experience.¬† This is only heightened by the bold lack of scoring, which becomes deafening, as mundane, everyday noises scream in the background.¬† When she meets the Woman, the Woman observes “you really love him, god help you.”¬† Her love for Him is toxic.¬† She does everything for Him, to protect Him, to provide for Him, to support Him, without question, whilst getting very little back in return.¬† She gives Him her all, free from expectation; the purest of love.¬†

Javier Bardem is perfect in the role of Him.¬† He is, of course, considerably older than Mother, though this is acknowledged.¬† He speaks calmly, with a cool smile, and calls Mother his goddess.¬† He loses his ‘cool’ once – when the mysterious glowing crystal he keeps in his study is smashed beyond repair by the Man and Woman.¬† It will only become clear in the final scenes why he is so creepily possessive over this trinket.¬† In the first half of the film, he is cold and distant, consumed by his lack of life, lack of inspiration.¬† After one passionate encounter with Mother, he is full of life and inspiration, yet still distant, consumed with completing his finest work.¬† He is not an obvious villain, but a man selfishly obsessed with his poetry, his legacy.¬†

The Man and Woman, as played by Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer, are deliciously devilish.¬† He, a dying old man looking to meet his idol; her, a cynical woman who cannot resist prying into the lives of the protagonists.¬† The Woman has some of the keenest insights throughout.¬† When a tragedy is bestowed upon her, she talks of being a mother herself – “you give and you give and you give, its just never enough”.¬† ‘Its just never enough’ is a recurring theme throughout ‘Mother!’.

The Man and the Woman are not the only visitors.¬† As events unfold, more visitors arrive to worship Him; and more and more and more.¬† The worship is poisonous; they are infatuated with Him, and treat Him like a deity, and Him accepts this worship as though it validates his existence.¬† When Mother questions “who are they?”, he answers excitedly “they’ve come here to see me.”¬† His ego is ultimately more important than the safety and mental well-being of his ‘goddess’.¬† When that moment (believe me, you’ll know it when you see it) occurs, he is still willing to forgive his followers, rather than chastise them for their abhorrent, sickening, shocking behaviour.¬†

If you hadn’t already noticed, no one in ‘Mother!’ is named.¬† This only adds to the prophetic feeling, like ‘Mother!’ is an allegory for society, for religion, for pathologically abusive relationships, for the current political climate, for war, for everything that is wrong with the world.¬† All showcased in one house, in one woman’s nightmare.¬†

One of the several trailers claims “you will never forget where you were the first time you saw Mother!”¬† I definitely won’t.¬† Never, and I mean never, has a film had me so on the edge of my seat, mouth agape, eyes unblinking, in the final act.¬† It is a slow burn, that at it’s crescendo, will tear you apart.¬† ‘Mother!’ may be the best film I won’t ever revisit; a dizzying experience that I will recommend to all at least once.¬†

Sasha’s rating: 8 out of 10

 

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Chilling First Trailer Arrives For Darren Aronofsky’s ‘Mother!’

“A couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.”

Directed By: Darren Aronofsky
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer, Domhnall Gleeson
Release Date: 15th September 2017

 

Teaser Trailer For ‘Mother!’ Released

“A couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.”

Directed by: Darren Aronofsky
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer
Release Date: 15th September 2017

The full trailer for this “riveting psychological thriller about love, devotion and sacrifice” will be released on August 8th.

Universal’s Monster Universe Officially Named ‘Dark Universe’ With ‘Bride Of Frankenstein’ Following ‘The Mummy’

We knew Universal planned to kick start a new ‘Monster Universe’ with the upcoming ‘The Mummy’ reboot, well now it officially has a name, ‘Dark Universe’.¬†

This new name was announced via a tweet from a new Twitter account, which had the following video attached. In this video there are clips from some classic monster movies, including ‘Dracula’, ‘Bride of Frankenstein’, ‘The Wolfman’, and ‘The Mummy’. These films¬†are more than likely what we can expect to be rebooted for this new ‘Dark Universe’

Supporting this theory is the new announcement that ‘Bride of Frankenstein’ will be the second film of this universe, and it currently has a Valentines Day 2019 release date. Bill Condon, whose most recent film was Disney’s live-action ‘Beauty and the Beast’, is set to direct.¬†

Javier Bardem has been cast as Frankenstein’s Monster and Johnny Depp will be the Invisible Man! More casting announcements likely to come following this news!¬†

Ellen DeGeneres Debuts Latest Pirates Of The Caribbean Trailer

The third trailer for ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge’ (UK Title) debuted on Ellen DeGeneres’ show earlier today, and this trailer has much more focus on Captain Jack Sparrow than the previous ones we’ve seen. This trailer also seemingly confirms that this will be that last Pirates of the Caribbean film, but I’ll believe that when I see it (or not see it in this case).

This trailer gives us a greater insight into the plot and the explosive history between Salazar and Jack Sparrow, and introduces us to Kaya Scodelario and Brenton Thwaites’ characters.¬†The synopsis alongside the trailer reads:

“Johnny Depp returns to the big screen as the iconic, swashbuckling anti-hero Jack Sparrow in the all-new ‚ÄúPirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge‚ÄĚ The rip-roaring adventure finds down-on-his-luck Captain Jack feeling the winds of ill-fortune blowing strongly his way when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle bent on killing every pirate at sea‚ÄĒnotably Jack. Jack’s only hope of survival lies in the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he must forge an uneasy alliance with Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), a brilliant and beautiful astronomer, and Henry (Brenton Thwaites), a headstrong young sailor in the Royal Navy. At the helm of the Dying Gull, his pitifully small and shabby ship, Captain Jack seeks not only to reverse his recent spate of ill fortune, but to save his very life from the most formidable and malicious foe he has ever faced.”

Whilst this trailer makes the film look more promising than the previous entries in the franchise, following the¬†disappointing films that followed the original, it’s hard to get excited for ‘Salazar’s Revenge’. Hopefully Disney have spent the last 6 years following the release of ‘On Stranger Tides’ working on a film that will rekindle peoples love for the franchise and it’s characters.¬†

‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge’ sails into UK cinemas on 26th May 2017.

Written by Tom Sheffield

Captain Jack Is Back In New Trailer For Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge

Way back in 2003 ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl’ sailed onto screens like a breath of fresh air. It was something fun and new, and it remains to this day one of my all time favourite films. As it did well at the box office sequels became inevitable, though I’m still not sure if they were wise. Sure, ‘Dead Man’s Chest’ was still quite fun, but ‘At World’s End’ felt bloated and overlong, and ‘On Stranger Tides’ was fairly forgettable (memorable for me only as the first film I saw that featured Sam Claflin). And still they keep coming with the fifth instalment, inexplicably called ‘Salazar’s Revenge’ in the UK (I much preferred ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales’), set to hit the big screen later this year.

The trailer that dropped during the Super Bowl actually looks pretty promising. I mean, yes cynically you could say that there would appear to be similarities to the first film, but that may not be a bad thing as that remains the franchise’s high point. Most of the trailer seems to deal with setting up the new threat, Javier Bardem’s Salazar. He has an amazing looking ship and the obligatory bunch of pirate henchman, who it seems may be able to walk on water. We also get a blink and you’ll miss it look at Will Turner, as Orlando Bloom makes a welcome return to the series. The last words of the trailer go to a mud covered Jack Sparrow ‚Äď who only makes a brief appearance here after being entirely absent from the previous trailer.

As things stand I’m cautiously optimistic about this one and probably will give it a shot on the big screen.

‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge’ sails into UK cinemas on 26th May 2017

Written by Emma Ditchburn

Watch This Space: April 20 – 26

Welcome to our newest feature РWatchThisSpace Рwhere we give you recommendations of films to watch in the cinema, on the television and those brilliant films hiding at the back of your DVD collection.

IN THE CINEMA

The standout release this week in the UK is of course, ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’, the sequel to the hugely successful ‘Avengers Assemble’. Hoards of superhero fans will be flocking to the cinema on Thursday 23rd, so be prepared, maybe wait a couple of days.

From last week, a risky choice but one which may well pay off if it’s your kind of thing, is Russian thriller ‘Child 44’. Starring Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman, the film has received mixed reviews, but this star-studded adaptation of a modern literary classic is surely worth a trip to the cinema.

Finally, released on Friday 24th is ‘The Good Lie’, starring Reese Witherspoon. This looks set to be another emotional, thought-provoking film in the vein of recent dramatic releases. It may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but it’s certainly an alternative choice to the more action-packed, testosterone-fueled options for the week.

ON TELEVISION

Tuesday 01:15 GMT: If you fancy a late night classic (or early morning depending on how you look at it), head over to Film4¬†for the showing¬†of ‘No Country For Old Men’ starring Javier Bardem and Tommy Lee Jones. You won’t regret it.¬†

Wednesday 19:40 GMT: Settle down with the family and stick¬†BBC Three¬†on, for the highly enjoyable, animated flick ‘Chicken Run’. Director Nick Park (Wallace & Gromit)¬†produces another perfect, plasticine adventure to please all.

Thursday 22:30 GMT: Rev up your moped, because ITV4 are delivering a cult classic with the fantastic ‘Quadrophenia’. Starring Phil Daniels, Leslie Ash and Sting, this is an integral part of British cultural and cinematic history that you have to see.

Saturday 00:35 GMT: Remember that catchy ‘Gold Digger’ track from Kanye West? Why not find out where it all started, with the award-winning biopic of Ray Charles. Catch ‘Ray’ on ITV3 in the early hours of Saturday morning.¬†

Saturday 23:05 GMT: Planning to stay in on Saturday night may not be as bad a decision as you first thought. On Channel 4, watch the hilarious ‘Role Models’, starring Paul Rudd, Seann William Scott and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin to you and me).¬†

DIG IT OUT

This is our favourite part of the¬†WatchThisSpace section. We delve into our own DVD collection and pick out some amazing films, that may not instantly spring to mind when you’re stuck for inspiration to make your movie night a success. Maybe you’ve never seen a film that we pick – or even heard of them for that matter – but you’re gonna have to trust us on this one, and Dig It Out.

Shutter Island:¬†With Mark Ruffalo turning angry and green again as The Hulk this week for ‘Age Of Ultron’, why not enjoy him in a slightly more human role alongside Leonardo DiCaprio. ‘Shutter Island’ is creepy, clever and very confusing but perfect because of it.

2001: A Space Odyssey:¬†Last week, JumpCut¬†UK gave you guys the chance to win a copy of ‘Interstellar’, in what was our most successful giveaway to date. Admittedly, this was our first giveaway, but it was a huge success all the same. To celebrate this, we thought you should check out the original space exploration classic.

Blade Runner: The best part of the¬†‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ trailer from last week, was undoubtedly the appearance from Han Solo, AKA Harrison Ford. The legendary actor is also set to reprise his role in the upcoming reboot of ‘Blade Runner’, so make yourself acquainted with the original.

This week’s WatchThisSpace was compiled by Jakob Lewis Barnes and Nick Deal