Cert 18 121mins Stars 5
Jennifer Lawrence is back on Oscar worthy form in this fist in the mouth intense horror. It’s a nightmarish fantasy of biblical madness from the director who dared to cast Russell Crowe on a sea of trouble as Noah.
Billed only as Mother, she plays the wife of a writer who spends her time lovingly restoring their grand old farmhouse home, to which she seems to have an almost supernatural connection.
A fan of the writer calls by and her husband invites him to stay the night. The next day members of the stranger’s family arrive, bringing with them chaos and violence.
Still only 27 years old, Lawrence has every chance of a fifth Academy award nomination and a possible second statuette for this phenomenal and punishing performance.
Despite it’s early moments of dark humour, Mother! is a very different movie from the romcom Silver Linings Playbook for which Lawrence won in 2012.
A welcome temporary lull in her blockbuster commitment to the X-Men superhero franchise allows her to team up with indie darling Darren Aronofsky.
The writer/director inspired Mickey Rourke to a nomination in 2009 for The Wrestler and guided Natalie Portman to an Academy award in his 2010 horror, Black Swan. He does his absolute utmost to repeat a similar trick here.
His camera almost sits on Lawrence’s shoulders, immersing us in her world as it spirals insanely out of control.
Employing biblical allusions with tremendous finesse and huge ambition, Aronofsky unleashes an apocalypse of condemnation on his targets. These include the control organised religion exerts over women, the cult of celebrity, and the vanity of the male creative process.
Javier Bardem oozes narcissistic charm as the writer and Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer provide strong support.
With every department working at full mind bending tilt, this is an extraordinary experience which may leave you crying out for your own mother.