“Mother!” (Paramount)

By Catholic News Service

Chaotic, exhausting, genre-blending allegory about a poet (Javier Bardem) and his wife (Jennifer Lawrence) living a solitary life in an isolated house in the countryside. As she works to rehabilitate the dwelling after a disastrous fire, and he struggles with writer’s block, a series of intruders (most significantly, Michelle Pfeiffer and Ed Harris) distress her with their bizarre behavior, but receive a mysteriously motivated endlessly patient welcome from her husband.

Writer-director Darren Aronofsky’s enigmatic drama, which incorporates Gothic and horror elements as it unfolds, seems designed to comment on a broad range of topics including creativity, compassion, marital relationships and, especially, religion. The film touches on biblical themes but portrays faith as essentially misguided. Its depiction of the Passion and the Eucharist is grotesque.

Blasphemous images, a negative portrayal of religion, much strong and sometimes gory violence, semi-graphic marital lovemaking, a glimpse of full nudity, occasional profanity and rough language. The Catholic News Service classification is O — morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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