I’m curious how a second viewing will land, because I like a lot in retrospect, but the experience of watching this was kind of…dull? That sounds surprising for a movie that boasts a coked-up Bradley Cooper, an unhinged Tom Waits, and a delusional Sean Penn, but that’s where I was, somehow. The scenes feel kind of randomly stitched together. Many of them are good on their own, but they don’t seem to have an engine behind them. I wanted more.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
The first 20 minutes or so are playful and biting in Cody's signature way, and Theron brings scarily real numbness and vulnerability to a character in need of a life raft. Once Tully arrives, the movie is enjoyable in a kind of inscrutable way, but seems rudderless. Tully helps and ok? That's it? The last act twist plays like a needless "gotcha" moment and doesn't seem to really track. Marlo appeared to be doing so well but she wasn't? And…
I think "Two for the Money" would be a better film if it were a shade darker, but as it is, it's probably a more entertaining film than a darker one would be. The quick and cliche-ridden tailspin and transformation of down-home Brandon Lang into obscenity-spewing, money-loving John Anthony rings a bit false, but that doesn't mean the movie doesn't work. This is a slick, not overly perceptive (but more so than your average cineplex fair) story of the damaging…
A triumph of subjective, immersive film making, tension building, and cognitive and sensory provocation, "mother!" finds Aronofsky in peak form, channeling all of his formal powers in service of a compelling, surprisingly emotional, and undeniably haunting allegory. It works as a deranged horror show, preying on our recognizable protectiveness of our spouses, our homes, our children, our selves. It works as a spiritual allegory. It works as a love story gone south. It works as a wake-up call to take…