“The first time I saw “Mother!” I just sat there with my mouth open. I’ve seen the film three times…”

The first time I saw “Mother!” I just sat there with my mouth open. I’ve seen the film three times now, and I didn’t fully appreciate the film until the second time. And then on the third time, I understood it to be a masterwork. On knee-jerk, you sit there and think, “what is this?” So I had to see it a second time to get it. And the third time proved to me that he was that same filmmaker of “Black Swan,” of “Requiem for a Dream,” of “Pi.” He’s that same filmmaker who dared me to look at the truth — “I dare you,” is what he says. People can say what they want about it, but you are dared to look at the truth.

What impressed me about “Mother!” was what impresses me about all of Darren’s films, which is his unflinching fearlessness, his storytelling, and his unabashedness in leading you somewhere to blow your mind.

The acting was extraordinary — once again he pulls extraordinary performances from his actors. Michelle Pfeiffer’s performance when she talks about the lemonade is simply a tour de force, so breathtakingly honest. And the build-up to the chaos at the end just left me sweating — I’ve never been more uncomfortable watching a film. Even on the third time watching it, I’m still uncomfortable. These are hard reactions to get from an audience. Some people can look at it and judge it, but to provoke such a visceral reaction from someone, that’s filmmaking to me.

I think some people just can’t take it, it’s too much for the audience. But that’s what makes him brilliant; the fact that he’s going to go there anyway. This will be one of those films that audiences will come to appreciate 10 to 15 years from now — it’s just so shocking right now.

Aronofsky is one filmmaker I steal from constantly. When I did “Precious,” I was stealing stuff from “Requiem” all the time. I tell him that, too. And when I tell him that he blushes. But I don’t even know that I could steal anything from “Mother!” — it still has to sit with me for a second. It is a masterwork, and another one of the jewels to add to his legacy.

Lee Daniels on mother! (via lawrencepedia)