Speed Reads

What's going on here?

Nobody can figure out what the movie mother! is about

Darren Aronofsky's new film, mother!, is having a rough opening weekend. The horror film, which stars Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem, cost $33 million to make and is projected to rake in a dismal $8 million at the box office. And those who have gone to see the film are leaving the theater angry, confused, and downright disgusted. Viewers gave it an "F" rating on CinemaScore, a rare honor given to just a handful of other films, ever.

"Nothing about mother! makes one lick of sense," writes Observer's Rex Reed, who also called the film "two hours of pretentious twaddle" and gave it zero out of four stars. Ouch.

Part of the problem seems to be that nobody can figure out what, exactly, this film is about. Is it a metaphor for our destruction of planet Earth? Maybe! Is it a biblical story? Sure. Is it actually a divine comedy? Could be! Is it some sick and twisted homage to The Giving Tree? Nobody knows! Vanity Fair has a whole lengthy post dedicated entirely to picking apart the movie's confounding ending. It finishes with one question: "Why?!"

To be fair, not everyone hates the movie. There have been less-than-terrible reviews. io9 said it was "fascinating" and "frustrating." And NPR had the decency to call the film "audacious." So, there's that.

Here's the trailer. Jessica Hullinger