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Alright, let's talk about mother!, the new Darren Aronofsky film. Which I at first was hesitant to see, because I had heard people being shocked and upset about it, and I generally dislike upsetting films. Then again, Aronofsky is responsible for one of my favorite films, The Fountain, so I felt I had to at least give it a try. With some trepidation I entered the cinema yesterday, ready to quite possibly walk out at the sight of - well, I had already spoiled myself for the big shock at the end, which was the only way I could ever steel myself to watch it. I was prepared. Then it turns out to be a comedy. Well, probably not deliberately so. I facetiously texted this to a movie-loving friend: mother! - a comedy film about how introverted people feel at crowded parties I appreciate mother!. I want to see it again. It's not a good film per se, it's kind of a big mess. By which I mean: some performances are so good, some are so bad, and the whole thing feels like a big budget student film trying to be Meaningful(TM). It is serious about shocking you and disturbing you, but the reason it's a comedy is because of Jennifer Lawrence. I have nothing against her, but she is almost comically miscast in what is essentially a really difficult part. Her character is constantly reacting to what other people do, keeping her feelings inside, or freaking out. But when Lawrence gazes at the camera blankly, unlike say Javier Bardem, there's nothing there. Nothing happening. And when she's screaming, she unfortunately tends to lose her voice and all that comes out is awkward squeals. You need someone there that you believe has so much inner turmoil going on inside when all they do is stare in front of them. I feel sorry for the actress, but part of the reason mother! made me laugh out loud multiple times is how un-sorry I felt for the character. And it's unfair too. Lawrence has to go up against awesome actors like Ed Harris, Bardem and Michelle Pfeiffer, who each get to play characters that are alive and joyful and weird in ways that Lawrence's is not. So begins a game where she is taunted over and over by these horrible home invaders. And it's often hilarious because Lawrence cares so deeply about all of it. 'Hey! You can't come in here!' is her signature line. 'Don't sit on that sink, it's not secured.' In contrast to Bardem, who is hilariously shrugging everything off. 'It's just stuff, we can buy new!' he says. He keeps apologizing, even when, well, the end thing happens. The end. It's pandemonium taken a little too far. The movie kinda lost me there for a while, as the house devolves into a warzone and a church. It was more fun when the whole thing was about social micro-transgressions wrought upon an ever-suffering Lawrence. Then again, when it happens, it's so suggestive and bizarre that I was more marvelling at its weirdness than grossed out. It's not gross, not really. I feel little need to delve into the symbolism of the film, in the way that I needed to figure out what was going on in The Fountain. mother! is so on the nose with everything it does, it robs itself of mystery, strangely. There's even a throbbing heart in the house shrivelling up and I swear that is straight out of my own graduation film at art school. I almost couldn't believe I saw Aronofsky do it in his film. So, yeah, it's really not his best film, or even 'good'. But there's so much in there that's worth seeing. Harris and Pfeiffer and Bardem! Superb whenever they're on. You'll laugh, if you've got my inclinations.