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Thread: mother! (Darren Aronofsky)

  1. #1
    In the belly of a whale Henry Gale's Avatar
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    mother! (Darren Aronofsky)


  2. #2
    In the belly of a whale Henry Gale's Avatar
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    No words. (But I'll try anyway before I fall asleep after a long, great day at TIFF.)

    This is Aronofsky at his most creatively unhinged, at the very least since The Fountain, but also doing things that are so beyond comparison. So aside from the beautiful, insane miracle that he got it made (and obviously I think he also managed to make something incredible with it) but that it's also going to be a big Paramount Pictures release that I've seen get big parts of its promo rollout premiere on network like ABC to now be put in 3,000+ theatres this Friday is just fuuuucking crazy.

    It's just wild. Absolutely audaciously so far removed from anything it's arguably taking inspiration from on paper. It's any movie you might compare it to thrown into the oven and just obliterated with maximum heat. It makes Rosemary's Baby look like Bridget Jones' Baby. It now even makes Aronofsky's own Black Swan feel like The Black Cauldron or something in terms of how cute it was to think that there was a time we might've looked at that as the sort of maxized simultaneous visceral and psycholpgical terror he was all-encompassingly capable of formally. But nope. He can also do this. And it's a fantastically untamed parade of raw sensibilities and mischievously audacious craft to behold.

    And not for no sort of rhyme or reason. There's so much going on in it thematically, dramatically, narratively, and then allegorically that I'm not even sure where to start after one viewing, but will surely relish in revisiting.

    At this point I'm not sure what else I'd call my favourite film of the year other than this, but I will also not be surprised in the least when I learn many, many others just totally despise it as an experience. For the lack of a better, less punny term: It's a motherfucker!

    <3
    I Love You, Daddy (C.K., 2017) - ***½ / 8.4
    Hostiles (Cooper, 2017) - ** / 4.5
    The Shape of Water (Del Toro, 2017) - **** / 8.9
    mother! (Aronofsky, 2017) - **** / 9.4
    Dunkirk (Nolan, 2017) - **** / 9.2
    The Killing of a Sacred Deer (Lanthimos, 2017) - ***½ / 8.6
    Indignation (Schamus, 2016) - *** / 7.2
    It (Muschietti, 2017) - *** / 7.8
    Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (Lynch, 1992) - ***½ / 8.5
    Death Note (Wingard, 2017) - *** / 7.3
    Annabelle: Creation (Sandberg, 2017) - ***½ / 8.0

  3. #3
    White Tiger Field Stay Puft's Avatar
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    I love all of the imdb user reviews for this movie that actually just review Jennifer Lawrence as a person (spoiler alert: they're all one star reviews). Kinda drives home the point of the movie. Or one of its many (some coherent, some incoherent) points.

    As expected with Aronofsky of late, I'm a little torn on it, but as you say it's also the most audacious and unhinged he has been since The Fountain, and I can always admire that, so I'm leaning more into loving it at the moment. It's an amorphous thing that keeps changing the more I try to think of it from different angles, and sometimes that's good and sometimes not. This will certainly take some time to decompress. I can say this: mother! was probably the most intense two hours I've experienced in a movie theatre all year. I was feeling genuine anxiety for a good chunk of the running time. It's also wickedly, wickedly funny. And whipping back and forth between hearty laughter and "oh god kill me" sure is a good way to start one's day.
    Making yet another effort again in 2017.

    Samui Song (Pen-Ek Ratanaruang) ***
    Kings (Deniz Gamze Ergüven) *½
    Dark River (Clio Barnard) **½
    Thelma (Joachim Trier) ***
    Zama (Lucrecia Martel) **½

  4. #4
    White Tiger Field Stay Puft's Avatar
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    One more thing before I head out for my next movie: I enjoyed seeing Stephen McHattie here, but he totally stole that role from Mark Margolis, didn't he?
    Making yet another effort again in 2017.

    Samui Song (Pen-Ek Ratanaruang) ***
    Kings (Deniz Gamze Ergüven) *½
    Dark River (Clio Barnard) **½
    Thelma (Joachim Trier) ***
    Zama (Lucrecia Martel) **½

  5. #5
    Errand Boy
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    I thought this was a fiasco, in the worst way. Aronofsky's always been good at coming up with visuals, but I can't stand his writing/conceptualization. It's like he thinks he's 70s Coppola, when in reality he's more of a pretentious film school student who doesn't understand dramatic structure and narrative development. But that's just me.

  6. #6
    I've found that there is very little overlap in what Aronofsky is interested in and what I'm interested in. Everything he has done has left me cold, even if I can appreciate the surface style. That said, mother! sounds more interesting than anything he has done to this point, so I will check it out (which is more than I managed with Noah)
    Last 10 Movies Seen
    Manchester by the Sea (2016) 72
    Arrival
    (2016) 63
    /Se7en (1995) 95
    /Dredd (2012) 58
    /This is the End
    (2014) 74
    /The Blair Witch Project
    (1999) 38
    Juvenile Offender (2012) 42
    /Green Room (2016) 70
    The Interview
    (2014) 56
    The Big Sky (1952) 64


    Stuff at Letterboxd


  7. #7
    Ha, this is getting wildly diverging reactions among people I follow on Letterboxd. Mike D'Angelo loved it, Glenn Heath called it "next level hot garbage"

    Awesome. Those are the types of films I most look forward to seeing.
    Last 10 Movies Seen
    Manchester by the Sea (2016) 72
    Arrival
    (2016) 63
    /Se7en (1995) 95
    /Dredd (2012) 58
    /This is the End
    (2014) 74
    /The Blair Witch Project
    (1999) 38
    Juvenile Offender (2012) 42
    /Green Room (2016) 70
    The Interview
    (2014) 56
    The Big Sky (1952) 64


    Stuff at Letterboxd


  8. #8
    In the belly of a whale Henry Gale's Avatar
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    Oh there were even times midway through where I was severely concerned if I'd really like it by the end, or that it'd manage to ramp up in an interesting enough way. But boy-howdy holy shit did that ever shift.

    Outside of Stay Puft's personal verdict on it, I'd be highly curious to learn if anyone somewhere in the middle on it was just of two minds about it, hating and loving different aspects. I don't know how you can muster a "meh" after what it throws at you.

    The best reaction was from someone I met in line today, which was: "I kinda hated it but once it was done I kinda wanted to see it again."
    I Love You, Daddy (C.K., 2017) - ***½ / 8.4
    Hostiles (Cooper, 2017) - ** / 4.5
    The Shape of Water (Del Toro, 2017) - **** / 8.9
    mother! (Aronofsky, 2017) - **** / 9.4
    Dunkirk (Nolan, 2017) - **** / 9.2
    The Killing of a Sacred Deer (Lanthimos, 2017) - ***½ / 8.6
    Indignation (Schamus, 2016) - *** / 7.2
    It (Muschietti, 2017) - *** / 7.8
    Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (Lynch, 1992) - ***½ / 8.5
    Death Note (Wingard, 2017) - *** / 7.3
    Annabelle: Creation (Sandberg, 2017) - ***½ / 8.0

  9. #9
    Stunt Man
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    Well that was some thing alright.

    This is going to be released into 2000+ US theaters? Lol can't wait for that F Cinemascore.
    Midnight Run (1988) - 9
    The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) - 8.5
    The Adventures of Robinhood (1938) - 8
    Sisters (1973) - 6.5
    Shin Godzilla (2016) - 7.5

  10. #10
    walks with the dead. Dead & Messed Up's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting transmogrifier (view post)
    I've found that there is very little overlap in what Aronofsky is interested in and what I'm interested in. Everything he has done has left me cold, even if I can appreciate the surface style. That said, mother! sounds more interesting than anything he has done to this point, so I will check it out (which is more than I managed with Noah)
    Ahh man, Noah is thudding and overbearing (and long in the back half when it goes The Shining) but also really fascinating in some ways, especially if you're into religion, but also if you're into relatively fresh cinematic symbolism (golden souls, enigmatic snakeskin, a fig with a heartbeat).

  11. #11
    good for health Skitch's Avatar
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    I loved the first two acts of Noah, hated the third.

  12. #12
    This was a total mess, but I went giddily along for the ride. The material is well-suited to Aronofsky's strengths--honestly it most reminds me of Pi. The idea that this may accumulate Oscar buzz a la Black Swan is laughable.

    My theater was packed. Movie execs obviously don't know what to do with it based on the trailers beforehand (equal parts prestige pictures/b-grade horror). If this turns out to be a financial success even slightly reminiscent of something like Get Out, it's only because of Donald Trump.

  13. #13
    Stunt Man
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    Three days later and I'm still reeling from this (in a good way, I think). The third act is sheer total unrelenting escalation of WTF. The person next to me in my screening sighed heavily every 5-10 minutes during the whole second half.
    Midnight Run (1988) - 9
    The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) - 8.5
    The Adventures of Robinhood (1938) - 8
    Sisters (1973) - 6.5
    Shin Godzilla (2016) - 7.5

  14. #14
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    Not sure how to grade it yet...

    It's something masterful, until it's completely not. There's also nothing else like it this decade (maybe even 2000's) as far as big name actors go.

    Big plus to Jennifer Lawrence for making it engaging as long as it goes.

    Something about this being the biggest introverted nightmare is where it succeeds. But...

    LATEST SEEN
    Big Sick - *** 1/2
    mother! - ***
    It - **


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  15. #15
    Stunt Man
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    Quote Quoting Peng (view post)
    Well that was some thing alright.

    This is going to be released into 2000+ US theaters? Lol can't wait for that F Cinemascore.
    back in the news

    Midnight Run (1988) - 9
    The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) - 8.5
    The Adventures of Robinhood (1938) - 8
    Sisters (1973) - 6.5
    Shin Godzilla (2016) - 7.5

  16. #16
    I SEE DEMONS!!! Ivan Drago's Avatar
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    Seeing on Sunday. Can't wait.
    Last Five Films I've Seen

    mother! (Aronofsky, 2017) 9.5
    Suspiria (Argento, 1977) 9.5
    Beach Rats (Hittman, 2017) 7.5
    It (Muschietti, 2017) 8.5
    Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Spielberg, 1977) 9
    Wind River (Sheridan, 2017) 9


  17. #17
    good for health Skitch's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Idioteque Stalker (view post)
    -honestly it most reminds me of Pi.
    Peak anticipation!

  18. #18
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    So yeah, this is when it goes from masterful to almost embarrassingly bad:

    [
    ]

    that I couldn't really support it anymore. Add to that the [
    ]only for it to end the way it did. Ugh.

    But what a hell of a first half.

    LATEST SEEN
    Big Sick - *** 1/2
    mother! - ***
    It - **


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  19. #19
    unattainable Zac Efron's Avatar
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    The fucking sound and Michelle Pfieffer are beyond excellent. But beyond the first half the movie just... well, you know.

  20. #20
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Zac Efron (view post)
    The fucking sound and Michelle Pfieffer are beyond excellent. But beyond the first half the movie just... well, you know.
    Yeah. I was anticipating articles upon articles about the sound.

    LATEST SEEN
    Big Sick - *** 1/2
    mother! - ***
    It - **


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  21. #21
    Moderator TGM's Avatar
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    I'm still not entirely sure what to make of this movie, but I do know that the more I think of it, the more I love it.

    I didn't see it with a large audience, but I could tell that they definitely weren't this movie's target demographic. This was confirmed at the end when someone in front of my proclaimed this to be the worst movie they've ever seen in their life, and everyone around her pretty much agreed. However, that sentiment only made me instantly appreciate the movie all the more, which is an absolute master class in sheer craftsmanship.

    Holy shit is this movie fucking wild, and makes Black Swan look tame by comparison. And I just loved the close quarters way it was filmed. Reminded me of Son of Saul, and really captured the increasingly anxious and claustrophobic feel of the movie. Aronofsky has outdone himself, and Lawrence gives probably the best performance of her career yet.

    With the reception its already received, I can see this movie going down a similar rout as The Shining, which received Razzie nominations at the time of its release, but has gone on to be praised as a horror classic. Give it time, and this movie will similarly find its audience and proper appreciation. But as for now, this is by far the most balls out craziest movie of the whole year, and while I can't guarantee that you'll like it, I HIGHLY recommend seeing this in a theater.
    Last edited by TGM; 09-17-2017 at 04:45 PM.

  22. #22
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    The sound design alone makes it worth seeing in the theater.

    LATEST SEEN
    Big Sick - *** 1/2
    mother! - ***
    It - **


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  23. #23
    I SEE DEMONS!!! Ivan Drago's Avatar
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    My thoughts will be included in an article for the website I write for later this week, but for now, I can say this: in the four hours since I saw this my thoughts have progressed from, "I can't believe what I just watched," to "I saw how it was going to end right from the get-go," to "Man, artists put sacrifice a lot to get what they want," to "Can I life the artist's life...?," and then I've been contemplating my own life, where I'm at in my career and feeling both in awe of how the film portrays the artist's life as a horror film and unsettled by it at the same time.
    Last Five Films I've Seen

    mother! (Aronofsky, 2017) 9.5
    Suspiria (Argento, 1977) 9.5
    Beach Rats (Hittman, 2017) 7.5
    It (Muschietti, 2017) 8.5
    Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Spielberg, 1977) 9
    Wind River (Sheridan, 2017) 9


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