Director: Darren Aronofsky
Year Released: 2017
A delicate housewife (Jennifer Lawrence) lives in a secluded house - that she's in the process of refurbishing after a fire - with an acclaimed poet (Javier Bardem), but a sickly stranger (Ed Harris) appears one day and the poet invites him and his wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) to stay with them ... and along with them, more and more people keep flooding into the home, wrecking it and, much later, destroying it entirely. With this, Aronofsky is clearly in Biblical allegory territory (a big passion - he made Noah back in 2014), with Bardem as Creator, Lawrence as Mother Earth, Harris as Adam (sans rib), Pfeiffer as (a haughty and mischievous) Eve ... before switching to the New Testament and the birth (and 'consumption') of Christ: it's screwy and more than a little half-baked in execution (and being Roman Catholic myself, I'm not sure it fits together that 'neatly'), but it is gutsy-as-hell filmmaking (an alternative reading makes it about a writer's muse and her vain attempt to separate the 'private' from the 'public' ... and jealousy and rage when she has to 'share' her lover with the masses). Lawrence's constant state of agitation and panic - inspired by Zulawski's Possession, maybe? - gets a little aggravating at times (that camera shaking!) ... but if anything, this was built to generate some kind of response from the audience: that (rare) CinemaScore "F" rating meant he did something right. To rephrase an old joke: what's the difference between Darren Aronofsky and God? God doesn't have a Darren Aronofsky Complex.