Mother! Wow. Just, Wow.


I loved Black Swan. I hated The Wrestler. So, I wasn’t really sure what to expect when my husband convinced me to go see Darren Aronofsky’s latest, Mother!

I watched the movie a while ago. Thoroughly dissected it with my husband that very night and a dear friend a week later. And, it still remains with me.

The film sung to my literary soul from the very beginning. I loved, loved, loved being asked to turn on my brain and see the story through the lens of allegory, symbolism and metaphor. This is not a movie to take literally. If your trips to the movies must involve sheer and utter entertainment without thought…this may not be the movie for you.

However, if you are at all feeling riled up by the present social, political, cultural climate created by our neighbours to the south, and even many issues which we face in Canada (we, loathed to admit, are far from perfect), then this film will move every single one of your senses to feel complete outrage at the audacity with which we treat women, the earth, our homes, ourselves and our relationships with greater powers (i.e./ God).

This film is not for the faint of heart. But, I think that was the whole point anyway. We can’t stick our heads in the sand and hope the horrors of life will just disappear. We are forced to look at ourselves and what we have done, what we have created in order to figure out how to dismantle it and recreate it before it destroys us.

Jennifer Lawrence’s nameless character is poetic and Javier Bardem’s nameless character is so frustratingly positive. Each minor character elicits discomfort, disgust, rage and even pity. The acting was superb and the story was powerfully woven right to its dramatic conclusion. Not once were we let off the hook.

A great movie for a strange and important time.

Did you see Mother!? What did you think?

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And the winner is…

Moon Point is a quirky movie about love, the lengths we go to for love and the lessons we learn along the way.  It was produced and directed by Sean Cisterna. He also directed The Danger Bees music video for Awkward Guy.

Both of these films picked up some serious hardware the other night at the York Region Multimedia Film Festival winning Best Drama, Best Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Cinematography and First Place in the Feature Film trailer competition.

If you haven’t seen the newly “award winning” video by The Danger Bees yet, it’s here:

Recently, The Mind Reels, posted a review of Moon Point; you may wish to read it in it’s entirety to gain a better understanding of the movie.  A good summary of the movie was provided:

“Darryl Strozka (played by new-comer Nick McKinlay) is a twenty-something stuck in a point of his life that we all drift through a some point. He’s directionless, jobless and loveless, and he’s emotionally stuck at the age of 10. A point that none of his family are willing to let go, and seem to bring up ad nauseam, especially when they compare him to his cousin Lars.  We meet Darryl and Lars at an engagement party for Lars…When pressured and belittled about who he’s bringing to the wedding, Darryl reveals that he’s going to bring minor celebrity Sarah Cherry (Kristen Gutoskie)  as his date.  You see, they have a history, brilliantly illustrated through flashback, and some of the most enjoyable parts of the film… Sure it was when they were 10, but if he still hasn’t gotten over it, then maybe she hasn’t either.  Sarah is shooting a low-budget horror movie a couple of towns over in Moon Point, but without a job to pay for transport, and without a license to drive, how will he get there?  Darryl enlists the help of his handicapped friend, nicknamed Femur…and using his motorized wheel-chair towing a wagon, they set out on a trip that will redefine both of them.” (courtesy of The Mind Reels)

It’s always nice when talent is recognized.  Congratulations Sean and all others who shared in your accomplishment.

Is there someone in your life who has done something creative and outstanding?

The Hunger Games – The Movie

Last week I posted my thoughts on the first installment of Suzanne Collins’ trilogyFinally saw the movie and…it was a really good summary of the book.

The Great:  This movie did a phenomenal job of bringing to life the ostentatious style of The Capitol.  I loved the costumes and make-up – it would’ve been so much fun to be an extra in this movie!

The imposing grandness of the Capitol was well established too.  Quite the sight after the terrible living standards we see in District 12.  You easily feel the Capitol’s excess and the abyss between the haves and have-nots.The Capitol and District 12

Jennifer Lawrence is perfect as Katniss Everdeen.  She captured the character’s vulnerability, courage and keen intelligence beautifully.  Lawrence showed emotion without betraying Katniss’ need to always be strong – an interesting balance perfectly kept by the actor.

Katniss and Peeta Training for the Games

Pleasant surprises:  Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellarck.  I admittedly know nothing about him as an actor – my only comment to a friend sitting next to me was “I always envisioned Peeta being taller”.  Hutcherson brings Peeta’s charisma to the screen quite well.  Too well actually as it is easy to doubt Peeta’s intentions towards Katniss.

I didn’t expect for there to be so much emphasis on Seneca Crane – but, I guess for the film version it would be necessary to see the man in charge of the spectacle making decisions about the images being fed to Panem and the manipulation of the arena for the tributes.  Also, the commentators breaking into the games at key moments was a clever way to fill the holes in the movie to keep the audience informed about the rules of the Hunger Games or descriptions of genetically engineered creatures found in Panem.

The Meh:  As good as Lawrence was in the character of Katniss, it simply is not the same as following her internal monologue – her questions, her doubts, her feelings about Peeta and memories of her home are essential to the development of her character.  We see glimpses of that – in her alliance with Rue, flashes of the memory of Peeta and the bread, Gale’s reactions to the games – but, it isn’t the same.  The development of the characters and their motivations isn’t present in the movie which makes it difficult for an audience to really care about them.

Everything that happens in the book that makes it so good is shown in the movie.  But, it feels like the movie skips from major moment to major moment.  The movie tries to encompass everything that makes The Hunger Games a great read, but it still felt like something was missing.

Speaking of something missing, what happened to the blood?  So much of the novel focuses on cruelty and sheer violence.  The violence of the games is missing, the blood is not there.  That’s what made Katniss’ final moments with the berries so desperate and poignant.  The move in the novel didn’t feel quite so calculated.

Final Thoughts:  this movie will not disappoint.  It is full of beautiful people in all the right roles (the boys are adorable and Katniss is a natural beauty).  Rue and Prim are so sweet it is easy to see why Katniss must protect them, and the Careers are every bit as vicious as Collins describes them.  The movie remains true to the story – there is nothing that distorts the plot and might offend die-hard fans.

For those who haven’t read the books, the movie delivers a cool tale about what it’s like to grow up in a futuristic dystopia.  And, it’s pretty neat to watch Katniss in action with her bow and arrow too.

Did you read the book and watch the movie?  Do you think the movie did the book justice?

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