Saw Darren Aronofsky’s (Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan, The Wrestler among others) latest over the weekend and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Have any of you seen it yet or planning to see it? I won’t ramble about it yet, in case there’s no response, but I’ll just say that I’m really glad I saw it and now I never want to watch it again.
Despite being 68% at RT it somehow got a CinemaScore of F from audiences. An F!
Terrible, cheap horror flicks usually get at least a B-. No regular studio movie gets an F.
This is astonishing.
Rex Reed calls it the worst movie of the year…maybe the century
That is hilarious! Rex Reed never fails to make me laugh. What he did fail at, however, was understanding it. I don’t know about anyone’s madcap theories on what the film is about - both Aronofsky and Jennifer Lawrence have stated precisely what it’s about Lawrence represents Mother Nature and Javier Bardem is God . Maybe he hasn’t read or seen any of the many interviews they’ve both given. Frankly the man just sounds like he hates Aronofsky’s films (fair enough), but why take it out on Jennifer Lawrence’s face? And excuse me, Michelle Pfeiffer is haggard? Fuck off, Mr. Reed.
Anyhoodle, it is definitely not a movie for everyone. Hell, it may not be for anyone, or anyone who actually wants to derive pleasure from a movie going experience. That being said, I’m glad I saw it. The premise is intriguing and all the leads actors were appropriately frustrating and down right despicable in some cases, which is exactly what the director was going for, I think.
So, more Gnostic witnessing?
More? Sorry to be stoopid but I’m not sure what you’re referring to.
I have not seen the movie, but a review indicated that a newborn baby is killed – its neck breaking with an audible crack – and eaten. The movie is not going for subtlety.
Yeah, the whole third act is relentless, including Kristen Wiig (!) shooting people point blank in the head
It’s so over the top that it’s almost cartoonish, a la Tarantino. So, the scene that you mention, while horrific in theme, is not as hard to watch as you’d think. You don’t see it, only the aftermath which is clearly fake.
I wonder if this will be this generation’s The Ninth Configuration? (How in Hell did this mess get a 7.2 on IMDB???)
The guy I listen to said it will be on his list of worst movies of the year. His co-host for the entertainment segment hadn’t seen it yet, asked that he not give any spoilers, and the guy said spoilers would be impossible because he didn’t understand what he saw.
His previous film, Noah, also had strong Gnostic themes.
I forgot about that one. I can only imagine what delightful things he did with it.
I thought it was terrific and much scarier and unnerving than It (which I saw on the same day and liked just fine). The problem, of course, is that the film is steeped in metaphor and never pretends to be anything realistic. This is more commonly accepted in theater where people have to fill in the visual gaps with their imagination so abstractions are not seen as unusual (think Beckett or Ionesco). But people are used to seeing a world fleshed out completely in film so want to accept it on literal terms and not symbolic ones.
I hadn’t read anything about the film so don’t know what Aronofsky & co. have had to say about it, but I think it’s a trenchant commentary on abusive relationships and cycles of violence (be they intimate/personal ones or larger political/environmental). It is not subtle at all, but that really is the point–that some of the most egregious violations of decorum, consideration and sanity occur in the most transparently horrendous patterns and are still accepted, embraced and forgiven. He has never been a artist who painted in muted tones but the imagery throughout the film is powerful, the performances excellent, his point of view thoroughly unleashed, and the resolution consistent and uncompromising.
Had I not heard beforehand what the movie is about, I might not have gotten it exactly, but I thought it was pretty clear that it was all symbolic, especially the last part.
For me it was like the longest, most intense frustration dream. I experienced the exact feelings I do when I dream of people pissing me off an I can’t do anything about it. Just a visceral sense of outrage and powerlessness. I seriously wanted to reach into the screen and slap Michelle Pfeiffer’s (not haggard) face. Actually pretty much everyone’s face,which is a testament to them and the director.
Perhaps the problem is that it’s marketed as a thriller / horror movie, and while it certainly has horrific elements, they’re really just the tools he uses to illustrate the allegory. I can’t count how many times, after some outrageous thing happened, I was sure it would turn out it was a dream.
Also, one of the reviews mentioned there was a twist at the end (which to me is as bad as revealing what the twist is, but that’s a gripe for another thread)so as much as I tried not to think about it, I couldn’t help but try to “figure it out”. I don’t really consider the ending a twist anyway, though maybe I’m too dense to understand it :o
Totally agree with this except I would add I don’t see (as many reviewers have) the religious imagery to be purely allegorical or illustrative–I see the movie as not only being about abuse and violence, but is about how Christian thought specifically justifies (or at least is used to justify) it both at the personal and sociopolitical level.
I saw it and enjoyed, strike that, appreciated it. Just looking at the acting credits gives away the game for at least the first order of interpretation. Mother, Him (shouldn’t that be Hashem?), Man, and Woman. The older brother killing the younger, the plumbing flooding the house when the crowd disobeys mother, debauchery and idol worship when Him shares His new book with the crowd; most of the events are Old Testament inspired. Add in a bit of environmentalism and it all makes some demented sense. I didn’t really get any Gnostic elements, but why not? Everything else is in there.
My biggest problem with the movie is finding someone to recommend it to so we can talk about it.
Although the film is rich with religious iconography, I think there are some very satisfying interpretations that aren’t dependent on that dimension. In retrospect, that may be D.A.'s primary ax to grind, but the nice thing about Art is that it can work as a prism from multiple perspectives resulting in various colors. I wonder if being so deeply immersed in Genesis in his last film Noah planted some ideas in his head that he had to get out.
I saw it last night (all of 8 people in the theater at Flix Brewhouse) and agree with JohnM that while I’m not sure I enjoyed it, I did appreciate it. I don’t hate it the way many people seem to. I think it had its problems–perhaps somewhat too repetitive, watching Jennifer Lawrence pretty much just stare and mumble for large portions wasn’t too interesting, and it goes so over the top at the end to be laughable–but you can always finds something you don’t like about a movie.
The general audience response reminds me of The Witch. Slow, weird, artsy, and completely hated by most of the audience I saw it with. So of course I enjoyed it. I hate pretty much all modern horror movie tropes and cliches, so I’m happier with something like mother! or The Witch or even the Gothic weirdness of something like Crimson Peak.
I enjoyed it. I went in worried the movie would be a two hour snooze fest because of the bad reviews.
The technical film making was deeply impressive - the sounds and close camera angles inducing an unnerving and claustrophobic nightmare. I wasn’t bored for the two hours despite the movie taking place in one location.
I would say this isn’t a film for the casual movie audience. But if you are into more ambitious films you’ll like this one. If for nothing else then because it’s unique and technically brilliant.