Greg Eichelberger reviews 'Mother!'

By: 
Greg Eichelberger
Staff Writer

After viewing "Mother!," the latest production by director Darren Aranofsky ("Pi,"), I made a trip to my favorite therapist (yes, I have more than ONE). This is the conversation I had with him:
Greg (on telephone): Doctor, I really need to see you as soon as possible …
Dr. Zoellerbergen (impatiently): Yes, what is it now…?
Greg: Well, I just saw a film tonight and I really needed someone to talk to about it.
Dr. Z (abrupt): Well, why does it have to be me …?
Greg (nervous): It doesn't necessarily HAVE to be you, but no one in my family wants to discuss it and there was no one else at the movie's premier, so …
Dr. Z (trying to be polite, but fading fast): OK, just tell me what happened?
Greg: Well, I've seen films by Darren Aranofsky before. "Requiem For a Dream, uh,"The Fountain," that one film where Natalie Portman stole the Best Actress Oscar …
Dr. Z: Oh, you mean "Black Swan…?"
Greg: Yeah, yeah, "Black Swan." There's always a certain amount of this guy's condescension towards typical audiences, you know, the "I'm-more-clever-than-you-even-though-my-movies-make-little-or-no-sense" kind of thing. You know?
Dr. Z (exasperated): No, not really, but please wrap this up, I need to get to the bookstore and get a copy of "What Happened?" before it closes.
Greg (apologizing): Right, right. Sorry. Anyway, his new film is called 'Mother!' and it was definitely one of the worse experiences of my life.
Dr. Z (curious): Really, how so? And bear in mind, Greg, you have seen literally HUNDREDS of bad movies …
Greg (excited): Yeah, I know. That's just it. There are bad films that you know going into them will be bad, like, uh, "Baywatch" or "Mr.Woodcock" or the remake of "Vacation," "Alice Through the Looking Glass, the "Fast and Furious" franchise or "Observe and Report" or "Mortal Bones" or ANYTHING with Adam Sandler.
Dr, Z: Yes, yes…
Greg: (speaking quickly): Then there are films, doctor, where you think they will be better than they actually were. Like "Pan," or "X-Men: Apocalypse" or "The Infiltrator" and "Why Him, or the leftist bag of crap, "Captain Fantastic," even "Bobby." But "Mother!," "Mother!" is in a special class unto itself. I mean, it's poorly filmed, horribly written, badly edited, terribly directed, makes no sense at all and actually made me sick …
Dr. Z (a bit more interested): You mean PHYSICALLY ill …?
Greg: Yes, actually made me physically SICK …! Pointless, plotless, hopeless and ridiculous. And it had a cast of Academy Award-winning or nominated actors, like Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer. Of course, since that group chose "Moonlight" as Best Picture, you might as well smash the award into a million pieces and —
Dr. Z (angry): Please, please, just get to the point …!
Greg: Sorry, anyway, what plot there is — and this was written by Aranofsky, too — is about a woman, Lawrence, married to a guy 50 years older than her — that would be Bardem — and they live in this dilapidated old house that Herman Munster would have passed by. And he is supposed to be a poet, but cannot write since a big fire. One day, he brings home a doctor, rude Ed Harris, and his whorish wife, uh Michelle Pfeiffer. Of course, this guy doesn't ask his wife anything about it. Uh, that's about it …
Dr. Z (now more curious): Well, I'm sure there's more to the plot than THAT, Greg. I mean, come on now …
Greg (blasé): No really, doctor, that's it. Yeah, a few more people show up, but —amazingly — they get increasingly weirder and more disturbing. Oh, and a murder takes place, the old mansion starts to bleed and Lawrence gets pregnant and Javier can write again and becomes world famous. Then more and more and more people show up at the house and destroy everything …
Dr. Z (silently attempting to figure out the description of the "plot"): Uh, wha— …
Greg: At first, I thought to myself, "Oh, this is a variation of 'Rosemary's Baby,' you know, the strange new people interrupting a marriage, a bizarre pregnancy and a poor goofball who becomes famous." But it began drifting worse than the last installment of "Pirates Of the Caribbean,"that had Javier Bardem, too you know. Honestly, it get so bad, my son and I had all we could take and left as soon as it was over, not even stopping to look at the credits. I mean, look doctor, I had to sit through the director's pompous, confusing and pretentious movie, "The Fountain" and —
Dr. Z (interrupting): "The Fountain"…?
Greg: Oh yeah, it's three different stories where Hugh "Wolverine" Jackman plays a surgeon, a conquistador and a space guy living in a snow globe who makes love to a tree …
Dr. Z: Oh, great. Nevermind.
Greg: Right, anyway, by the first 10 minutes, we wonder why the two leads were even in a passing relationship, never mind married to each other. Plus, the supporting cast is just so annoying, irritating and infuriating, and the leads are so stupid, you have absolutely NO empathy or sympathy for ANYONE. There is nothing real about any of the reactions and Lawrence usually takes all of it with a blank facial expression with eyes half closed and mouth wide agape ... kind of like the women in "Sucker Punch."
Dr. Z: (unbelieving): My … my …
Greg (becoming more excited): Oh, and the worst thing — if that's even conceivable — is that Aranofsky films the two leads as close up as possible — yeah, I always thought Jennifer Lawrence was rather attractive, that is until I had to see every mole, hair, pimple, blackhead, whitehead, dimple and birthmark she ever had. Oh, and then it was shot in "Selfie Vision, and use the ridiculous, hand-held, jiggling, seizure-inducing camera technique. My gosh, it was horrible... HORRIBLE ...!
Dr. Z (apologetic): I didn't know, Greg. I just didn't know …
Greg: It's OK. How could you know? How could ANYONE know …?
Dr. Z: So, I mean, how would you grade this film…?
Greg: Well, there are a lot of overblown, pompous self-styled intellectual critics full of their own gargantuan egos and a desire to place themselves about the rest of us, and who will love this production and give it four out of four or 10 out of 10. And, you know that silly Rotten Tomatoes will give it a very positive consensus. However, there's no equivocation for me to give it the worst grade I've ever "awarded" to a movie.
Dr. Z (curious): Well, so what will you give it?
Greg: Easy, an F-, of course.
Dr. Z: Look, I know it was terrible and all, but isn't a "F-" just rubbing it in and trying to make an obvious point?
Greg: Yes. Yes it is … Goodnight, doctor...