Critics at the Toronto International Film Festival who showed up to watch Darren Aronofsky’s Mother! this Sunday were greeted with a surprise on their way into the theater: a handsome piece of cardstock embossed with a new version of the Lord’s Prayer.
Credited to Rebecca Solnit, the author of Men Explain Things to Me, “Mother’s Prayer” replaces the familiar “Our father …” with a hymn to a feminine creation spirit and the plea for help in resisting temptation with a hope to avoid “selfish craving” and “the hungers of the glutted.”
Mother!, which opens on Friday, is part gnostic creation myth and part psychodrama, with Javier Bardem and Jennifer Lawrence playing an inspiration-starved poet and his wife—or at least, that’s how it seems at first, and to say more would be telling. Suffice it to say that you’d be well-advised to brush up on the books of both Genesis and Revelations before you see it, and that rewriting the Lord’s Prayer is far from the movie’s most audacious gloss on Christian theology.