Rating: 1 1/2 Stars (Out of 5)
Review: In an old farm house in an isolated location, Mother (Jennifer Lawrence) happily toils away renovating her house. She obviously adores her husband (Javier Bardem), a writer and poet of distinction who may be going through an extended period of writer’s block. One day a stranger (Ed Harris) happens by (or has he sought out the poet?) and is taken in for the night. Mother is a bit put out that her husband has offered the stranger a room for the night, but he is an orthopedic surgeon and appears to offer no threat. Nevertheless, Mother feels the equilibrium of the home has been put off kilter. The next day the stranger’s wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) appears at the door, and suddenly the house seems to have residents that may be staying a while, much to Mother’s chagrin. Something about the guests bothers Mother, something seems wrong, possibly even ominous. Then more people show up at the house, unexpected things happen, and Mother loses control of her little world….
First off, as a reviewer let me say that Jennifer Lawrence is my favorite movie actress and is a major talent. Javier Bardem and Ed Harris are top shelf actors as well. The problem for me is writer/director Darren Aronofsky has attempted to make a film so artsy and riddled with allegories and high brow intellectual “stuff” that most viewers are going to be totally lost by the end of the film. The first half of the film was actually quite interesting, and could have developed into a compelling suspense story. But that isn’t what happened. The plot came to the proverbial fork in the road, and Aronofsky put the pedal to the metal and took the “Schlossen Cutoff” and eventually went over the same cliff as Thelma and Louise. The box office for the movie tanked, and cast and director felt the need to explain the brilliant allegories they were acting out, but viewers don’t want to sit through a movie with a copy of Cliffs notes to figure out what the hell is going on. Sorry, this movie is a stinker.