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YNMS: Mother!

Jason from MNPP here with our first look at the trailer for Darren Aronofsky's Mother!, or as it's known around these parts That New Michelle Pfeiffer Movie! The exclamation point in the actual title definitely stands for "That New Michelle Pfeiffer Movie!" at least. It's been seven full years since Black Swan came out (I am pretending Noah didn't happen at this point, but perhaps I'll reassess it in another decade) and this feels, at first glance, like similar territory for the director. Watch:

So Jennifer Lawrence is happily partnered with Javier Bardem until Ed Harris and Michelle show up, at which point the walls begin to crumble and swarms of looky-loos come hustling out of the forest? I mean isn't that what happens whenever Michelle shows up somewhere? Let's "Yes No Maybe So" this sucker (and watch me have trouble coming up with the latter two!) after the break...


MICHELLE - I mean, let's just go with the big one up front. MICHELLE, MICHELLE, MICHELLE. My two favorite performances of hers (Batman Returns and Scarface) favor the cruelty of her beauty and this appears to be leaning into that one hard. Did anyone NOT get shivers when she closed in on an apple-cheeked and utterly intimidated J-Law?

Jennifer Lawrence - I know people run hot and cold on Miss Lawrence, and she is coming off her sloppiest p.o.s. to date with Passengers, but I'm big-time in the Pro Camp (she deserved that Joy nomination) and it looks as if Aronofsky is using her baby-doll head and all the innocence that thing can connote in an interesting way.

Darren Aronofsky - As stated I'm super ready to put Noah behind us, so let's get back to the Aronofsky of Black Swan and Requiem For a Dream, the two movies they're using to sell this one with. One bizarre (rock people!) misstep does not a career like his undo.

The Dudes - We all know Darren can get whomever he chooses at this point in his career so of course it's all top-tier talent attached but it's still a real rogue's gallery of faces I love looking at with Bardem, Harris, and Domhnall Gleeson in a quick terrifying flash. (Can adorable ginger Domhnall actually be terrifying? Stay tuned.)

The Score - I'm terrible with keeping track of scores but I'm assuming that is Jóhann Jóhannsson's score we are hearing here, plucking at our nerves ragged, and good grief is it effective.


I am sure that the age difference will play into the script (the casting, with all the leads a good 20 to 40 years older than Lawrence, seems purposeful anyway) but man does Javier look old and haggard in that shot of him in bed immediately following the one of Lawrence's fresh dewy face. I hope Aronosfky has something new to say on the subject but... is there anything new to say on the subject? Younger woman, way older man... why are we still so obsessed with this dynamic?


The Plot - Even though this trailer gives away the most basic outline we're still pretty in the dark once it's over, which is great - trailers shouldn't give everything away! But piecing together the bits we are getting is giving me some hardcore Rosemary's Baby vibes (like I'm pretty sure the title is referring to Lawrence herself at this point) and what with Rosemary being My Favorite Movie of All Time I'm always a bit wary when people attempt to scale that particular mountain anymore.

I don't want this to feel just like a riff or a spin on something else, know what I mean? That said Aronosfky (who also wrote the script) is pretty singular when he's firing on all cylinders, so we're not dissuaded, or even close to dissuaded, we're just hoping Mother! is more than the sum of somebody else's parts.

Where do y'all stand? Mother! is out on September 15th.

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Reader Comments (50)

Looks really generic but since I see EVERYTHING technically I'm a YES.
But judging from the trailer it would a soft NO.

Did you see the new poster - with J Law as a cracked porcelain doll, though?
- it's really cool - much much better than the two painted ones of Bardem and Lawrence.

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterUlrich

Will have to be brilliant or play around with the horror/thriller genre to be in Oscar's wheelhouse.

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

Cannot wait and i'm with you on her deserving that Joy nomination.

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

Yes. YES. YES!

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

I'm a yes, it's a promising trailer, so glad to watch Michelle Pfeiffer with this kind of material.
Although I'm not a fan of Jennifer Lawrence, the CGI is the element that I don't like.
But IMDB lists Kristen Wiig as part of the cast, and I'm dying to see what she's up to.

Let's wait for the response on Venice and Toronto screenings.

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterremy

Jennifer Lawrence is a no for me, but everything else about this looks interesting.

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterEmilia

This is not Johann's score. It's a piece called Puzzle by another composer.

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered Commentersati

Thanks, sati -- like I said I'm terrible at identifying music. But that's good trailer music, anyway!

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJason


The rest.. well.. I love psychological thrillers centered around women of this nature (Images, Repulsion, The Silence, etc.) However, Jennifer Lawrence doesn't exude much excitement from me and Aronofsky has such a heavy hand, not to mention his copy and paste style of stealing from better, more interesting movies. I'm still looking forward to it but I'm mostly excited for Michelle and what looks like her most interesting character in a long time. I liked what Aronofsky did with Barbara Hershey, even though I hated the movie in general, so fingers crossed I guess?

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrad

Jennifer Lawrence is simultaneously overrated and underrated. Personally, I love how she's such a scene stealer. Even at her absolute worst (Passengers), she still walks circles around her costars in terms of charisma. I'm such a huge fan of Michelle Pfeiffer, but she got outshone by Lawrence in her scenes.

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterbeyaccount

Now I'm wondering if the title has anything to do with being a female parent. Seems more like an exclamation, maybe even an expletive.

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrevity

I'm a total YES. I'm a huge Aronofsky fan and while Noah was far from great, it ended up being a much more interesting film than I expected and I admired it for the pure craziness that was on display. The age difference is always an issue with Lawrence, but at least here it doesn't feel like she's taking a role meant for someone 10-15 years her senior. And of course there's Michelle Pfeiffer. Michelle Pfeiffer takes me from YES to HELL YES.

And I agree, Lawrence deserved that nomination for Joy.

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterthefilmjunkie

I am a yes of course if this is well-reviewed, but it looks like a B movie with famous people? I also hope that it is not a rip-off of Rosemary's Baby, because it definitely has that vibe.

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

Ugh, must Young Gleeson be in everything? He's so bland. The best thing he's done was play an android in Black Mirror, because at least then it's all in service to the character.

This looks pretty standard, some pseudo-hybrid of Stoker, The Invitation, and, yes, of course, Rosemary's Baby.

I'll watch it, though. MICHELLE FRIGGIN' PFEIFFER is in it!!! Here's to her going full gonzo and grabbing some critic noms at the end of the year... Or even the BAFTA nom, like Hershey did with Black Swan. :)

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterManny

It's like they edited all the things I didn't like of Black Swan in one trailer.

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Was already sold from the teaser but this has sharpened my interest. It looks great.

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLizzy G

"I'm such a huge fan of Michelle Pfeiffer, but she got outshone by Lawrence in her scenes." -

beyaccount - this is kind of a weird statement. They said hello to each other and then Pfeiffer preyed upon her for a few seconds. You could well be right when we all see the movie, but I don't see how you come to that conclusion from just a few seconds in a trailer.

Anyway, this looks fun.

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLaLaBland

YES to La Pfeiffer serving Ruth Gordon in Rosemary's baby realness

Maybe so on the rest

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered Commentereduardo

I like that Lawrence is working across genres with good directors and she needed to dirty it up a bit and A list actresses usually steer well clear of horror movies.

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

Jennifer Lawrence has the goods as long as she is challenged and this looks like it might do it.

I loved the younger Domnhall in About Time but have been disappointed ever since (with Star Wars as low point). Hopefully he does something interesting here.

Javier and Michelle in creepy mode: sure of course.

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered Commentercatbaskets

Yes for me even if I share the same reservations. With the exception of Noah I've liked all of afronsky's films and while I don't love Lawrence, I thunk thus far she's been mostly pretty savvy and interesting in terms of her project choice.

Surprised Ed Harris didn't get his own YES section. He's terrific in everything as far as I'm concerned and the thought of him and Pfeiffer in evil mode as a couple makes so much sense physically and temprementally, there's no way I'm passing this movie over.

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

I'm going to see it. I love Darren Aronofsky.

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99

It must be a reverse gender version of "Psycho", with a B&B instead of an old motel!

It looks creepy and weird, just like "Black Swan", and what a cast, so I'm a "Yes".

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterforever1267

My interest in this movie is how solid it is for a Still Alice sweep to victory for Michelle.

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

So, MIchelle Pfeiffer is playing Ruth Gordon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Yes, yes, yes - for all the reasons you mention. In fact, this whole write-up pretty much mirrored my own reaction to this trailer. I hope Michelle's part is really juicy and multi-dimensional.

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

Am I the only one around here who really likes Noah? Yes, it's incredibly melodramatic and the imagery is pretty out there, but that's Darren Aronofsky and I don't know about the rest of you, but it's why I love his filmmaking (he's willing to go all in on his vision, it's also what I love about the likes of Baz Luhrmann and Pedro Almodóvar and Luc Besson). I also think he brought something incredible out of Russell Crowe in that role, playing a man with the weight of God on his shoulders and questioning his humanity in the process (or maybe I'm just a sucker for characters who are forced to face whether they're human or not). This looks pretty delicious (that score is definitely the best thing about the trailer) and these are all actors I enjoy when they have the right material to work with (and they've all been known to chew scenery, which is always more delicious when it's Aronofsky guiding it)...

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRichter Scale

Thank you for noting the lack of spoilers! I will actually go watch it now

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterChris K

Anyone else thinks this looks like A Delicate Balance crossed with The Others?

At any rate, looks fantastic! Very strong yes here.

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJames from Ames

I usually do NOT watch trailers. But I have been
anxious about this movie. If Michelle were not in this movie, I believe
People would not be salivating about it. Looks and sounds a bit
silly me. I hope I am wrong. I am also a Lawrence fan.

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered Commenternatalie

Is this about an old man who sleeps with his daughter? Javier is 20+ years older than Jennifer. Gross.

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPenelope Cruz

Yes X 3 because of Michelle.

How is Ed Harris billed before Michelle? Nothing against him but Michelle should have gotten the 'and' treatment if she was going to be placed the last.


August 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMingy

Easiest yes, no maybe so ever? yes, of course.

From this longer look, I'm starting to feel:
> Lawrence is playing the straight character to Bardem, Pfieffer and others' crazy.
> I sometimes forget how much I like Bardem until bam it hits me again
> Pfieffer's role actually is looking somewhat substantial. YAY
> the film as a whole does not look like an oscar play. Oscar tends not to do genre and Black Swan was an exception but that was almost kind of a character study also. This looks more straight up thriller & horror. I now predict this will get only tech nods and MAYBE a supporting acting nod, if critics rally for that performer

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterHuh

J-Law and Michelle will forever be Yes for me.
And I am loving the tone of this movie.
Just a hunch, Lawrence's character might be a sacrifice of sort by the cult that is secretly led by her husband but not like Rosemary's Baby more like a real freaking life sacrifice LOL

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCraver


August 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTyler

I see a lot of comments comparing the tone of the trailer to the film "Rosemary's Baby". And maybe Aronofsky's intentionally doing this deceive the audience because there is still very little we know about the movie. But the tone, or vibe, this trailer is giving me is from a 1977 flick called "The Sentinel". Anyone who is aware of this film knows how it ended, and it was not particularly pleasant to watch.

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBenjamin

And yes J-Law deserved a "Joy" nom. And I forgot to mention the trailer also brought vibes of "Angel Heart" with Bardem in the DeNiro role.

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBenjamin

I've no stomach for horror, although if this gets good reviews I may muster up the will to see it. Of Aronofsky's work I've only seen Black Swan and The Fountain, both of which I quite liked.

Count me among those who go back and forth on J Law as an actress - but I actually think she's well cast here. (And yes, she was great in JOY - the only time I've enjoyed her work with David O. Russell.)

And I'd be very surprised if the stark age-contrast between her and Bardem isn't *highly* deliberate. We'll see.

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterlylee

Rosemary`s Baby is such a classic that it would be a disservice for MOTHER to be compared to it to begin with....anyway it feels like a Maybe So,very generic, style over substance. I do like Lawrence but I also think she`s over nominated ( She DID NOT deserve her nod for Joy or even her win for SLP, for Christ`s sake, Naomi Watts was a nominee that year), but I`ve enjoyed her in Passengers and thought she was great in American Hustle ( here we have a deserved nod) for Bardem, great actor, but looks miscast ...Pfeiffer looks stunning and menacing, she may walk away with the film and I am hoping for some awards love towards her .

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterEder Arcas

Yes for Pfeiffer and Aronofsky! Pfeiffer looks HOT and devil, so yummy! I think Darren wants to fool us by this trailer and make us thinking it is like rosemary's baby! I think mother! Is a more symbolic term for an idea in this movie

August 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDani

i'm a no because spooky movies scare me

although i teeter on maybe so because of my intense lovely-house-in-the-country envy

August 9, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterpar

Yes to Pfeiffer, Harris, and Aronofsky.

Maybe to Lawrence.

No to the Lawrence/Bardem pairing. They already look mismatched, and he's literally old enough to be her father. I'm so over these ridiculous age disparities in movies and TV series.

August 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

I can't think of an upcoming movie I would like to watch a trailer for *less* than MOTHER! Guys, we all know we want to see it - why spoil it?!?

August 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

Benjamin - The Sentinel is probably a TERRIFIC comparison.

August 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJason

A million times yes. This was a perfect trailer - I know just enough about the setup to make me excited without knowing too much. I really REALLY want this to be the best movie of the year.

August 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSawyer

Thank you, Jason.

August 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBenjamin

JLaw looks to be CGI-ed to have almost a Stepford Wives glossy kind of look in the trailer.

Maybe La Pfeif is some kind of scifi/alter/older incarnation of JLaw's character? That might explain the weird Barden-Lawrence age difference.

If it isn't that, then I am going to annoyed. JLaw has a history of playing characters she's way too young to play. Oy.

August 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCharlieG

SUCH A HUGE YES. This is how you do a trailer - give an extremely broad plot outline and throw in enough tantalizing images and sounds to make us think we're seeing a lot more than we actually are, set to perfect mood music. I was a yes before seeing this, but now I'm a "HELL YES I NEED THIS MOVIE ON MY EYEBALLS RIGHT NOW PLEASE KTHXBYE". I didn't get an immediate Rosemary's Baby vibe from it, but watching it again, I totally see it. Whatever this ends up being, I am here for it. Probably even if reviews say it's terrible.

August 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDancin' Dan

Did the Kate Hudson movie "Skeleton Key" cross anyone's mind?

August 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBenjamin

wondering if this is a sequel to Rosemary's Baby

new poster released - obviously based on RB - with the house & Bardem's character in the spot where the original's baby carriage is

August 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

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