From Kyle Smith’s NR review of Darren Aronofsky’s new film Mother!:
Ordinarily when a filmmaker goes trampling all over your senses with an eye toward maximizing disgust, it’s for the purpose of producing some cheap scares. In Mother, though, the aim is a macabre pastiche of people’s most cherished and deeply held beliefs. Deliberately grotesque and nauseating, and seemingly engineered to outrage Christians, especially Catholics, Mother represents a stain on the reputation of Paramount Pictures, which once produced Going My Way. It may be the most vile and contemptible motion picture ever released by one of the major Hollywood studios.
Critics will no doubt enjoy calling the film, particularly its second half, “subversive,” “brave,” “transgressive,” etc., as though any satirical impulse were less risky than mocking Christian dogma. Other defenders will protest that Aronofsky’s vision of ugliness and despair goes back to Hieronymous Bosch and beyond, joining a long tradition of purposefully lurid apocalyptic tales backed by a stern moralism — repent, ye sinners. But I don’t see any seriousness of purpose, just a Biblically-infused version of torture porn.
I’ve liked all the Aronofsky films I’ve so far seen, which is Pi; Requiem for a Dream; and the excellent Black Swan.
Is Kyle Smith overreacting or has Aronofsky crossed over into the stereotypical ‘Jew from Brooklyn Who Thinks His Gratuitous Insults of Christianity is Art’?