“Does mother! have to be explained? What about the experience of watching it? It was so tactile, so beautifully staged and acted — the subjective camera and the POV reverse angles, always in motion…the sound design, which comes at the viewer from around corners and leads you deeper and deeper into the nightmare…the unfolding of the story, which very gradually becomes more and more upsetting as the film goes forward.

The horror, the dark comedy, the biblical elements, the cautionary fable — they’re all there, but they’re elements in the total experience, which engulfs the characters and the viewers along with them. Only a true, passionate filmmaker could have made this picture, which I’m still experiencing weeks after I saw it.

“Good films by real filmmakers aren’t made to be decoded, consumed or instantly comprehended. They’re not even made to be instantly liked. They’re just made, because the person behind the camera had to make them. And as anyone familiar with the history of movies knows all too well, there a very long list of titles — The Wizard of Oz, It’s a Wonderful Life, Vertigo and Point Blank, to name just a few — that were rejected on first release and went on to become classics. Tomatometer ratings and Cinemascore grades will be gone soon enough. [Or] maybe they’ll be muscled out by something even worse.

“Or maybe they’ll fade away and dissolve in the light of a new spirit in film literacy. Meanwhile, passionately crafted pictures like mother! will continue to grow in our minds.” — posted in The Hollywood Reporter on 10.10.

Wells to Scorsese: I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for “the light of a new spirit in film literacy”…not in this Godforsaken culture.