The real reason everyone's so traumatised by Jennifer Lawrence's latest film.

Mother! is the kind of movie you call a ‘film’ because you’ll never truly understand what it means.

It’s… it’s… art, people.

It’s the kind of ‘art’ that’ll stick in your mind for days after you’ve watched it, as you try to work out whether it was a crock of sh*t or whether you’re just not smart enough to get it.

Then you’ll remember that you still don’t understand Mulholland Drive and realise that you should probably stick to the Police Academy movies from now on.

It’s also the kind of ‘film’ that will remind you why you hate house guests and why, no, Aunt Margaret cannot stay in the spare room while she’s in town.

mother! review
No, Aunt Margaret, you cannot stay in the spare room. Image via Paramount Pictures.

The basic premise of the movie is that Jennifer Lawrence's character 'Mother' is married to a poet called 'HIM' (played by Javier Bardem).

They live in a big house in the middle of nowhere - it's pretty much in the middle of a field in the middle of some woods without even a driveway leading up to it.

The house belongs to HIM, and Lawrence's character is rebuilding it after it was mostly destroyed in a fire that killed HIM's first wife.

HIM basically walks around the house all day looking for inspiration for his next poem.

Everything's pretty hunky dory for the first five minutes of the movie until some random, played by Ed Harris, turns up on their doorstep one night.

He tells HIM that he was under the impression the house was a bed and breakfast so HIM invites, erm, the other him to stay over.

(Just as a side note - there's no character names in this film because ART.)

Lawrence's character is not happy about this because inviting a stranger to stay at your isolated home in the middle of nowhere is actually a really good way to get murdered!


But HIM doesn't listen to her - and this is the moment where you'll begin to feel intensely frustrated by this movie.

Your frustration will only increase when, the next morning, Ed Harris's wife turns up unannounced and HIM invites her to stay too.

At this point you'll be mentally listing all of the house guests, flatmates, and partners who have pissed you off in the past.

When the random couple's two sons turn up unannounced later that day - you'll be squirming in your seat wondering why no one's called the goddamn police yet.

From there things escalate - the two brothers get into an altercation and HIM lets the random couple invite all of their family and friends to the house to hold some kind of a memorial service.

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After they trash the place and leave, Mother and HIM have sex for the first time in months. Mother immediately knows she's pregnant and it inspires HIM to write a best-selling poem (because ART, people).

We then fast-forward nine months and sh*t gets extremely real.

The earlier intrusion seems mild compared to what comes next. I can't explain it in great detail without giving too much away - but basically everything that could possibly happen in a movie happens in the last third of Mother! 

The onslaught of violence, fear, and depravity renders you unable to look away, while you're simultaneously dreaming about crawling back into your bed and hiding from the world for at least a few weeks.


Mother! shines a light on the very worst of humanity in a very short time period and kind of feels like a punch in the face and a kick in the guts at the same time.

Then it ends and you're left unsure of what was real and what wasn't - how much of the storyline was just a feverish dream and how much of this weird stuff actually happened.

The only thing you'll know for sure is that you're changing the locks, closing down your AirBnB account, and never inviting people over again.

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