by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent
You can literally pin down three “F” words to describe nearly every Darren Aronofsky film from his early work in PI (1998) to best-loved film REQUIEM FOR A DREAM (2000) to Mickey Rourke in THE WRESTLER (2008) to Natalie Portman’s Oscar-winning turn in BLACK SWAN (2010) to obsessive Russell Crowe in NOAH (2014). Fixated. Fragile. Freakish. Herein lies the latest work by this Harvard-trained filmmaker, MOTHER!, complete with an exclamation point.
Marked by a stellar cast of Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer, Aronofsky has somehow managed to tease a much-anticipated, weird-yet-inviting, horror thriller. Which makes you wonder what is it with this guy, always flushing out the Grand Guignol, or wild punch in the head from any dramatic circumstance.
First he drops a Jennifer Lawrence in floral gown poster with an illustrated version of herself tearing her own bleeding heart out, literally and in the iconography; then there’s a new one-sheet unveiled today from Paramount with Javier Bardem on fire, literally, flames engulfing him in a chair also implying some heavy iconic imagery.
James Jean (Google for credits, very interesting) is the artist, with a Taiwanese/New York-trained sensibility melded into a thrilling mix of comic and blue-chip fine art haute imaginings, and MOTHER! is right.
But the way the studio is pitching it is so matter-of-fact, as if this Aronofsky-helmed movie is somewhere neat and normal:
“A couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence. From filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream), mother! stars Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer in this riveting psychological thriller about love, devotion and sacrifice.”
Watch MOTHER! & Try Not To Stare…
Forewarned about the forbidden, you can now resume your summer blockbuster watching, as MOTHER! won’t be released until Sept. 15. Meanwhile the studio will upload a new trailer Aug. 8. Watch for it.
On a side note, Jennifer Lawrence being Aronofsky’s real-life, off-screen love interest gives one pause… then again, ex-fianceé Rachel Weisz survived him to end up with James Bond, her now-husband Daniel Craig. Maybe Lawrence will end up with a better outcome in real-life too, neither fixated, fragile nor freakish. Because any fate seems better than what looks like will happen to her in his film, and forgive the gratuitous use of the French term Grand Guignol, but that grandiose term skin-tight fits the end product of Darren Aronofsky’s view-finder.
MOTHER! Of All Details, Social Media-wise
mother! Official Channels
Release by: Paramount Pictures
Directed by: Darren Aronofsky
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer
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