Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, and Michelle Pfeiffer star in Darren Aronofsky's (AB '91) highly anticipated psychological thriller about a couple threatened by the arrival of uninvited guests to their tranquil home.
A young, pregnant woman (Jennifer Lawrence) busies herself in a vast, unfamiliar house, trying to renovate it into submission. Her new, older husband (Javier Bardem) is a brilliant author, acclaimed all over the world for his insight into humanity and his mastery of language. They love each other deeply, so why are their days so fraught with tension? Why do small misunderstandings seem to pile up? Why do these newlyweds on the verge of welcoming new life into the world seem about to tear each other apart?
Darren Aronofsky begins mother! in the unnerving tradition of Roman Polanski's Apartment Trilogy. His camera chases his characters, capturing glimpses of her fear or his aloofness just as they try to profess undying love for one another. This relationship is clearly teetering on a knife's edge. And then guests show up.
Anxious and vulnerable, she just wants to be alone with her husband as they prepare for the baby. Why does he welcome strangers into their house? How can he be so oblivious to what she needs? Seen from a distance, this might look like a small domestic conflict, easily resolved. But as we're plunged into the heart of this fracturing relationship, the conflict takes on far bigger implications. Then it escalates. And escalates.
Fans of Aronofsky's Black Swan and Requiem for a Dream will know he can wind dramatic intensity up to shattering effect. But this is new territory, even for him. Dazzling, shocking, and strangely satisfying, mother! is what movies were made for.