mother! ★★★★

If nothing else, you can’t deny “mother!” earned its exclamation point.

An allegory so undisguised that it barely qualifies as an allegory. It’s more like a smoothie: blend one (1) King James Bible, the Big Bang / Big Crunch wikipedia article, a heavy splash of Lars Von Trier-esque torture of a beautiful woman, season to taste with climate change studies, and suffer through it.

A male filmmaker portraying a male artist as god, simultaneously elevating and exploiting the woman that supports him is, in a word, problematic. When I couldn’t willfully look past those misogynistic aspects, it brought to mind the risible Lady in the Water.

But… but… but. Wow. Just, wow. What audacity to make something so deliberately confrontational, rude even. I fully respect and understand many of the 1-star reviews I’m reading here on Letterboxd, but I have to admit I found mother! flat-out astonishing, and it earns a spot on my best-of-year list.

Oh, and two other random thoughts:
1. I was previously a bit ambivalent on Jennifer Lawrence, but she is superb here.
2. Anyone else catch a whiff of Lindsay Anderson’s “if…”, another over-the-top allegorical phantasmagoria? But admittedly I might be distracted by the punctation.