According to production notes, director Darren Aronofsky wrote the script for mother!, his new horror movie starring Jennifer Lawrence, while holed up alone for five days. You can only imagine what he might have produced if he’d worked straight through the weekend.

mother!, a highly secret project that caused jaws to drop, stomachs to hop and eyes to roll when it was sprung on audiences at the Venice Film Festival, is cruel, delirious and slammingly effective. It, the Stephen King movie currently owning the U.S. box office, is scary. mother! is terrifying.

Lawrence plays a nameless woman who’s in the process of lovingly restoring the remote, fire-ravaged country house she shares with her poet husband (Javier Bardem), likewise nameless. “I want to make a paradise,” she says. She gets points for trying — the finished rooms look vaguely Tuscan — but Aronofsky (Black Swan) delivers his heroine to hell.

Her journey to the bad place has commenced even as the movie begins: Bardem, we learn, is very famous, but at the moment lacking inspiration. You would think Lawrence, who looks like someone Botticelli would gladly pose on a half-shell, would be muse enough. Apparently not. Instead, Mr. Poet has …read more


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