JLaw’s artsy horror movie

Sarah Posted by Sarah at July 31, 2017 15:32:49 July 31, 2017 15:32:49

A teaser for the highly anticipated Mother!, the collaboration between Darren Aronofsky and Jennifer Lawrence, has been released, and it’s a horror movie? It’s hard to tell for sure, because it’s just thirty seconds of disjointed scenes and dialogue with no context—you know, a real teaser and not a two-minute trailer called a teaser because words have no meaning anymore—but the impression is distinctly Southern Gothic and potentially demonic. Javier Bardem seems to be a stranger looking for a room, JLaw runs the maybe/maybe not boarding house, and Michelle Pfeiffer has an ominous bit of voice over: “God help you”. So it’s like if the first part of Forrest Gump was about Sally Field fending off, I don’t know, a weird cult?

Mother! is screening at TIFF and Venice, and given the talent involved, there are, of course, already Oscar aspirations attached. Making a thriller with Darren Aronofsky got Natalie Portman an Oscar, so it’s not a leap to think Mother! could lead to Lawrence’s FIFTH Oscar nomination. But Mother! might be a little too weird and messy—there is a distinctly meaty stabbing sound in the teaser—for the Academy.

The influx of younger voters that has come with the membership expansion of the last two years might help, but the demographics remain tilted in the “stodgy” direction. They embraced Black Swan, but that was an artsy psychological thriller about ballerinas. (The Wrestler, about a more low-brow form of entertainment, only pulled a couple acting nominations.) If Mother! is indeed a bloody (but artsy) horror movie, will it compete? This award season is shaping up TOUGH. It’s already a way more competitive year than last year. Jennifer Lawrence in a serious movie is starting to feel like an automatic nomination (she’s getting that Meryl Streep nomination thing going), but will enough Academy fogies sit through one of Aronofsky’s dark and dirty cautionary tales to make the film itself a player?

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