[Jerry Seinfeld voice] What’s the deal with mother!? It’s nothing short of impressive that a film with personnel as high-profile as Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, and director Darren Aronofsky has been able to remain an almost complete enigma with one short month separating it from its premieres at the film festivals in Venice and Toronto. We recently got a teaser trailer that raised more questions than it answered, promising that a dark spiral of psychological horror — in a form kept out of view — would visit happy couple Bardem and Lawrence. And then there was that baffling theatrical poster, with artwork tastefully depicting Lawrence ripping her own heart from her chest.

Today brings a second poster for Aronofsky’s tale of home invasion (drawn up by Taiwanese artist James Jean, who also designed the previous visual), and this one puts a focus on Bardem’s character. He’s engulfed in lurid red flames, and for some reason, he’s holding a mysterious metal orb. He’s reaching out as if in beckoning, and yet not looking towards the observer. A small golden lighter appears to be emerging from the splintering wooden chair he’tscs sitting in. A screaming figure’s warped reflection is visible in the stainless sphere he’s holding. It is, in my carefully considered artistic analysis, a weird poster.


It’s only a matter of weeks until we can start to figure out just what in the Sam Hill is going on here. But as of now, we know this to be true: it has something to do with human hearts, metal orbs, golden lighters, immolation, and Kristen Wiig (who is in the film). After its festival debuts, mother! will hit theaters September 15.

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