Search icon

Movies & TV

30th Dec 2017

The Top Ten Movies of 2017 – #02 – mother!

Rory Cashin

“Murderer! It is time to get the FUCK out of my house!”

Welcome to JOE’s countdown of the Ten Best Movies of 2017. We’ll be counting them down one-by-one, with the #1 spot revealed on New Year’s Eve.

The #02 spot goes to… MOTHER!

Irish Release Date: 15 September

Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ed Harris, Kirsten Wiig, Domhnall Gleeson.

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Budget: $30 million

Worldwide Box Office: $44 million

If you’ve been reading JOE at all in the last few months, then you already know how infatuated we became with mother! in the days and weeks following the release. We tried to warn viewers that there was a 50/50 chance that they would equally love or hate it, and we also tried to breakdown what the plot of the movie actually meant, as a debate still rages on as to what the entire thing is supposed to stand for.

We’re not going to go through all of that again, because to repeat those points about mother! would simply be a waste of time. Instead, we’re going to try to psychologically prepare those who haven’t seen the movie yet, and to maybe give an explanation of why we loved it to those who hated it.

Clip via Paramount Pictures

In order for mother! to work for you, you have to give yourself over to it entirely.

You can’t sit back and ask why Jennifer Lawrence’s character isn’t just forcing Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer out of her home the second they become rude houseguests.

She isn’t doing that because mother! isn’t abiding by normal rules of human decency. This film is a horror film in the most psychologically daring of ways – by following nightmare logic.

People do terrible things, the worst things imaginable, and the protagonists can’t and are not reacting appropriately, because they are trapped in a version of reality that doesn’t allow for proper reactions. Instead, we forced to watch are characters are repeatedly forced into nightmare-ish situations, and every inch of our bodies wants them to get up and RUN out of the house, because that is exactly what we want to do – mother! has made you feel so psychologically attacked and uncomfortable that you will want to get up and run out of the screen, or run for the remote to turn it off.

The only reason mother! isn’t the #01 movie of 2017 is because we can’t ever think of a time when we’ll say to ourselves “You know what I’d really enjoy watching right now? mother!, because I really feel like traumatising myself for the next two hours.”

For further reading on our end of year list, check out the following:

LISTEN: You Must Be Jokin’ with Aideen McQueen – Faith healers, Coolock craic and Gigging as Gaeilge