Man smokes in the house when Mother has politely asked him not to smoke. Woman goes into rooms she's been told are private and touches items she was asked not to touch.
This is the kind of story that could not have happened in Compton, California or in a Harlem townhouse. Had Mother been a Black or Latina woman, she'd have gone upside the heads of that overbearing couple with a skillet in the first act. In the second act, she'd have said "Oh, hell, no!" as she grabbed her keys, purse, phone and caught a cab to the nearest police precinct.
Lawrence is shot constantly in tight close-up. Within the first five minutes, we sense a dissonance in her situation. She's young and lovely. The first clue that something will go wrong is that she and her writer husband live alone in a huge house in the woods that she's renovating. A house in a remote location. There's no visible evidence of neighbors or other nearby buildings. You don't even see a drive-way. Think of all the horror movies since the 1930s FRANKENSTEIN features that had a big, secluded house or castle and a monstrous entity on the loose.
When the husband enters the close-ups with the wife, he always seems to avert her direct gaze. The acclaimed writer has had a stretch of writer's block. We get the feeling that he blames it on her. She keeps taking some kind of medicine. Is she sick or is she pregnant? But he seems to avoid having sex with her. Is he closeted gay or just WTF is going on?
You might think it's going to be a ROSEMARY'S BABY kind of thriller because the ad echoes the poster for Polanski's 1968 classic starring Mia Farrow.
Is this a statement on the artist as narcissist? A statement on how a woman's freedom and rights are marginalized? Is this a statement on Catholicism -- zeroing in on the Communion ritual in which we Catholics are told the wafer we're eating represents the body and blood of Christ? The last act and most visually surreal one of MOTHER! has just about everything but that Pushmi-Pullyu from the old movie musical DR. DOOLITTLE in it.
I kept wondering "How freakin' huge is this white girl's house?!?!?" There's practically half a Third World nation in her living room.
MOTHER! Visually fascinating but I don't know what the heck this allegory is trying to say. But, man, I sure did love Michelle Pfeiffer in this Darren Aronofsky film.