Right from the off, you know that Mother! is not going to be your usual, run-of-the-mill movie, for reasons you’ll see instantly, and which I won’t describe here.
Don’t panic early on, as it looks like the two leads – mother-to-be Jennifer Lawrence and writer Javier Bardem – are auditioning for Grand Designs, on account of fixing up the house to be their paradise.
I also noted in advance, that I saw a vlog from Mark Kermode where he said the best thing to do with this film is see it, but then not give your opinion until one week has passed and it’s had time to be digested in the mind, which did seem an odd sort of ‘request’. The only other thing I knew about it beforehand, was that it’s an 18-certicate for reasons of strong violence.
Although they hardly ever have guests, they’re soon joined by a passing doctor (Ed Harris). Now, I don’t like strange people in my own house, either, so I can understand her reticence. Then, when others turn up and ask personal questions, and a lot of really weird stuff starts happening, it soon turns into a movie where you just can’t take your eyes off it and from around 30 minutes in, it feels like one gigantic “WTF?!” moment, not least from the rudeness of other people, that aspect of which makes the film very accessible, since we’ve all experienced it…
(In fact, the only rudeness it didn’t feature was when you hold open a door for someone and they don’t say “Thankyou”, but it got very close to that)
Plus, since I didn’t quite get into those first 30 minutes first time round, I went back and watched them again, straight away. In doing so, I picked up on things I missed first time round which really have some resonance after what comes later in the movie.
In Mother!, Jennifer Lawrence turns in a superb performance, as does everyone else, especially Michelle Pfeiffer with such an impudent and brazen character. The rest of the cast also give fine support.
The film gripped me to my seat and left me open-mouthed for long periods at a time. When I first saw this film, I didn’t need to wait for a week to come up with an opinion. I loved it immediately! To that end, as you’ll see, below, it was one of my Top 10 films of 2017!
The film is presented in the original 2.35:1 ratio and in 1080p high definition and is pin-sharp throughout and looking absolutely stunning, as you’d expect from a modern movie, bringing Aronofsky’s incredible world to life. It’s a must-see on a regular Blu-ray, and I can only imagine how it looks in 4K.
The sound is presented in Dolby Atmos for this who have such technical ability, but I watched it in DTS 5.1 and, again – without giving spoilers, since you know to expect the unexpected with Darren Aronofsky, he never lets you down on that front.
There are two extras to this disc, the first being Mother! The Downward Spiral (29:51), a making-of piece with lots of chat from the cast and crew, as they try to describe the movie, plus we learn how they had 3 months of rehearsals, how the house was built on more than one set, shooting the movie on 16mm, plus some special FX where there’s a bit more info in the next extra.
The other is The Make-up FX of Mother! (6:45), a brief but engaging piece, where make-up FX designer Adrien Morot shows us some of the incredible real FX made for the movie rather than just resorting to CGI like a lot of directors would. I won’t divulge the details here, so as to avoid spoilers.
The menu is static and silent with a shot of the house, and Ms Lawrence’s face. Normally, I’d see a static and silent Blu-ray menu and think “BORING!”, but… this is the one time where things are different, since showing random clips in the background wouldn’t be necessary in this case. That said, while the trailer is sadly not included here, they did manage to put together a great trailer which completely avoided spoilers. In addition, there are 16 chapters which is better than most studios – although if it had my preferred ‘one every five minutes’ then there’d be 50% more, plus languages and subtitles in a number of languages which are mentioned in the specs further on.
Also, check out my unboxing video for this Blu-ray below.
Running time: 121 minutes
Studio: Paramount Home Video
Released: January 22nd 2018
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: Dolby Atmos (English only), Dolby Digital 5.1
Languages: Dolby Atmos (English), Dolby Digital 5.1 (English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish), English Audio Description
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Arabic, Bahasa-Malaysian, Chinese-Cantonese-Hong Kong, Chinese-Mandarin-Traditional-Taiwan (and Singapore), Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Portguese, Romanian, Slovakian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish
Widescreen: 2.35:1 (Redcode RAW (6K) (visual effects plates), Super 16, Super 35)
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Producers: Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel
Screenplay: Darren Aronofsky
Mother: Jennifer Lawrence
Him: Javier Bardem
Man: Ed Harris
Woman: Michelle Pfeiffer
Younger Brother: Brian Gleeson
Oldest Son: Domhnall Gleeson
Cupbearer: Jovan Adepo
Damsel: Amanda Chiu
Consoler: Patricia Summersett
Bumbler: Eric Davis
Philanderer: Raphael Grosz-Harvey
Fool: Emily Hampshire
Wanderer: Abraham Aronofsky
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.