Aronofsky channels pure Polanski paranoia with ‘MOTHER!’


Jennifer Lawrence in mother! Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

Courtney Howard // Film Critic

mother!, may I?!

There’s no better modern filmmaker that channels Roman Polanski-esque paranoia and psyche better than filmmaker Darren Aronofsky. BLACK SWAN brilliantly exemplified this. Sure, he’s had his missteps (cough, cough. NOAH), but the auteur appears to be back in full force with MOTHER! Seemingly channeling a bit of ROSEMARY’S BABY and maybe a splash of REPULSION, this horror/ thriller is going to be your jam.

In the film Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem play a couple, refurbishing a home, whose patience and peaceful existence is tested upon the unexpected arrival of a mysterious couple played by Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer. According to the official synopsis, this is a “riveting psychological thriller about love, devotion and sacrifice.”

Guys: I’m so stoked for this impending Pfeiffer-sceance. How lucky are we that we get to see the GREASE 2 queen in a few films this year (this, MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS, WIZARD OF LIES, WHERE IS KYRA?)?!

However, there were a few things that struck me. Whoever cut this trailer didn’t use Danzig’s “Mother.” Tsk, tsk, A missed opportunity. I kid, I kid.

But seriously…It’s hard to ignore the two decades age difference between Bardem and Lawrence. I’m betting though that this factors into the plot as something as egregious as this age disparity has been carefully constructed. I also can’t help but worry that if this goes pear-shaped, it will wind up looking more like the shlocky HUSH than something as pristine as Polanski’s aforementioned cinematic explorations into the female psyche.

That said, I remain positive this will be a taut chiller that will have us astounded.

MOTHER! opens on September 15.


About author

Courtney Howard

Courtney Howard is a LAFCA, CCA, OFCS and AWFJ member, as well as a Rotten Tomatometer-approved film critic. Her work has been published on Variety, She Knows and Awards Circuit.