Ques­tions unan­swered

Shepparton News - - WEEKEND ENTERTAINMENT - BRE­ANNA ZAMPAGLIONE Vil­lage Cin­e­mas Shep­par­ton week­endlife@shep­p­news.com.au

Mother! is a Ålm very much like sand. Every time you think you come close to grasp­ing it in your hands, it man­ages to Ånd a way to slip through your Ångers and fall apart.

Both ar­rest­ing and con­fronting, Mother! is a vivid (and some­times quite graphic) story that doesn’t al­ways seem to want to give you an­swers. And that’s ex­actly the point of the Ålm.

Jennifer Lawrence is the un­named tit­u­lar char­ac­ter, a woman liv­ing in an iso­lated home with her poet hus­band.

Af­ter re­build­ing the house from the ashes of a Åre, they’ve grown ac­cus­tomed to their tran­quil ex­is­tence (de­spite their re­la­tion­ship be­ing painfully strained) un­til a stranger comes knock­ing late at night.

What snow­balls from here is an in­ter­wo­ven sto­ry­line that could be metaphor­i­cal for any num­ber of things; the con­trast be­tween celebrity and per­sonal lives, moth­er­hood, cre­ation and own­er­ship, even hell and its demons to a cer­tain ex­tent.

With two dis­tinct acts set in the nar­ra­tive and Lawrence the sole driv­ing force of the Ålm, it can be over­whelm­ing at times to en­dure, and there are mo­ments when the story can drag be­cause of the lack of solid an­swers.

Be warned also that there are some graphic scenes dur­ing the cli­max of the story.

Stylis­ti­cally, di­rec­tor Dar­ren Aronof­sky can­not be faulted.

His mastery of cam­era work puts the au­di­ence di­rectly in Lawrence’s per­sonal space nearly the en­tire way through the movie, cre­at­ing an emo­tional in­vest­ment that al­lows us to con­nect with her in a way that her char­ac­ter alone wouldn’t be able to, as she is more of an ob­server than an ac­tive par­tic­i­pant in many scenes.

Lawrence can’t quite fully con­nect, how­ever, with Javier Bar­dem as her hus­band, though this is more char­ac­ter de­sign than any lack of chem­istry be­tween them.

As a writer with a streak of nar­cis­sism, Bar­dem al­most com­pletely ig­nores the at­ten­tions of his wife, which is just the be­gin­ning of what slowly drives Lawrence to sheer mad­ness.

This is cer­tainly one Ålm guar­an­teed to keep you think­ing (and even keep you awake at night) just to Ågure out what

Mother! was try­ing to say all along, to the point where another view­ing may even be needed, if you can stom­ach it for a sec­ond time.

Or, you can leave it as a Ålm that is de­signed to be open to in­ter­pre­ta­tion, and re­alise that per­haps in this case, you will never know the an­swer.

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