• Festivals

The “mother!” of All Allegories

One of the most controversial films to come out of Venice and Toronto, mother! is Darren Aronofsky’s attempt at what you could call a universal allegory. Set in a large house rising in a pristine field, it tells the story of the couple (Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem) living in it – alone – until an increasingly strange assortment of visitors begins showing up with ever more startling consequences. Part psychological horror, part biblical metaphor, it has elicited strong reactions on both sides: those “who either love it or absolutely hate it” as Jennifer Lawrence herself told the HFPA’s Helen Hoehne and Gabriel Lerman at TIFF.