If you put a shotgun to my head, I couldn't tell you what Darren Aronofsky's 2006 film "The Fountain" was about. I know there was some cancer involved and references to the Spanish conquistadors quest for the Fountain of Youth, and then some futuristic space stuff. I remember the photography was vibrant and saturated with color. And that's all I can tell you about it.


I had a much clearer understanding of his next two films - "The Wrestler" with Mickey Rourke and "Black Swan" with Natalie Portman. After Natalie Portman won the Best Actress Oscar and Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei were both nominated for acting Oscars, it was clear that if nothing else was true, Aronofsky was good at getting the most from his talent.

By the time his latest film "Mother!" finishes it's release run, one thing will be definitely said about it: Jennifer Lawrence nearly saved this sinking ship with a strong performance. I assure you however, if you polled 100 people as they walk out the theater, none of them will give you the same answer as to what the film is about.


Written by Aronofsky, I'd bet he is the only person who could explain the film. Sadly if the film needs to be explained to the average person then it fails in its storytelling objective. So be it with Aronofsky's latest film, "Mother!"


Jennifer Lawrence is Mother and is married to a poetry writer simple referred to as Him. They live in a large, fairly remote home that is clearly off the beaten path. Mother is barely pregmant which automatically brings to mind "Rosemary's Baby". (But that's all it does - is bring it to mind.)

Mother has a strange symbiotic relationship with the home which is brought to fore in the very beginning of the film as she caresses the wall much the same way one would caress a impregnated belly. The tranquility of Mother and him's existance is interrupted by a knock on the door.


Upon opening the door, in steps a Man (Ed Harris) who claims he has mistaken the house for a be and breakfast. He confesses he is tired and not seeing straight. He asks Him if he sould spend the night and, much to Mother's surprise, Him allows Man to spend the night.


Things get stranger when the Man's wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) arrives without warning the next morning. Like the king of the castle, Man invites her in and makes sure that she makes herself feel at home - all while Mother onjects. But Woman gets catty with Mother, challenging her with a rant about not sexually satisfying Him.


That's not a problem for she and Man as they make out early and often; until their two sons played Brian and Domhall Gleeson arrive as a biblical reference to Cain and Abel. Bedlam breaks out as Mother starts to hallucinate all kinds of weird things that may or may not have anything to do with the guests. The scenes are punctuated with run of the mill special effects that really add to the confusion. Moreover, Bardem's character is so enigmatic you lose interest.


Pfeiffer is as lovely and sexy as ever as she slip into her witches persona, but Harris and the Gleeson's are three lumps taking up space. The star and most captivating person on the screen is Lawrence as she carries this film.


"Mother" is probably better than it seems but is so absorbed with it's own profundity it makes little sense other than Jennifer Lawrence can make garbage look good.   -- GEOFF BURTON