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The Mother

From 113 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Confusing, Disappointing, Absorbing, Intense

About the show

Academy Award nominee Isabelle Huppert and Golden Globe Award nominee Chris Noth star in Atlantic's disquieting new play about a woman grasping for stability. More…

Can one love one’s son too much? Anne has given everything to the family she’s built. Now the years have gone by, and her children have grown up and have lives and loves of their own, leaving her alone in a world that is crumbling around her. Written by acclaimed French writer Florian Zeller and translated by Christopher Hampton, "The Mother" will leave you questioning the very nature of reality.

Member Reviews (113)


Great acting, Confusing, Disappointing, Absorbing, Intense
Avg Score

Oedipal, Slow, Somber, Disappointing, Great lead performance

See it if you want to see Huppert give a chilling performance as a devouring, possessive mother in a drug-addled descent as she deals with separation.

Don't see it if you'll feel unfulfilled by the lack of emotional impact or genuine feelings; you expect any new or original insights into the Mother Complex

Great staging, Edgy, Great acting, Intense, Absorbing

See it if Middle-aged isolated wife feels most alluring when reminded she is mother to prized son.Actor of international acclaim takes on Not-Broadway

Don't see it if Untrustworthy is any sequence appearing onstage (time shifts; incest) as perspective might prove to be from a woman taking a mental pause.

Also Huppert taking generous liberties of space onstage is thrilling.

Bold, Intelligent, Disappointing, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if you're looking for a bold, new work that's challenging and unusual.

Don't see it if you prefer a traditional narrative, or you have trouble with accents.

Repetitive, Edgy, Disappointing, Slow

See it if you feel compelled to see everything Huppert; you prefer hysteria to naturalistic acting. Sorry, I cannot think of any other reasons.

Don't see it if This play can't save Huppert and Huppert can't save the play. Both are so overblown to the point of farce, difficult to take seriously.

Also I hated this play, resenting that hyperbole is used to portray importa... Read more Read less

Overrated, Indulgent, Disappointing, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if you are the president of the Isabelle Huppert fan club.

Don't see it if you have other theatre options. Uses repetitive scenes which grow tiresome after a while. Unsympathetic characters. Shades of incest.

Absurdist mental illness, Huppert excellent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Every scene gets a take and retake in an obsessive mother’s mind as she progressively decompensates into mental confusion.

Don't see it if You want a realistic drama where everything is as it seems. French accent sometimes hard to understand.

Pointless, Slow, Boring, Excruciating, Disappointing

See it if you are BIG fans of any of the actors.Other than that, avoid it.Dull,rambling,self-indulgent.Everytime it started to move, it died again

Don't see it if you can avoid it.Pompous & empty.Script went in 12 different directions.That'd be fine if I ever cared for a second what happened to anyone.

Disappointing, Riveting, Great acting

See it if you like Isabelle Huppert. Her performance is riveting and worth the time even though I felt no empathy towards her character.

Don't see it if you would be uncomfortable watching a character overtly flirting with her son. I felt uncomfortable at times.

Intense, Riveting, Great acting, Confusing, Absorbing

See it if great performance by Huppert as a bitter wife & mother whose mental health is deteriorating & who has a disturbing obsession with her son

Don't see it if you want a traditional linear plot - scenes repeat with variations that make you question reality; want a happy story not an unsettling one

Disappointing, Indulgent, Slow, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if you just have to see Isabelle Huppert on stage.

Don't see it if you expect to understand Isabelle Huppert French accent from anywhere other than the front row of the theater.

Confusing, Slow, Great acting

See it if you like Issabelle Huppert.

Don't see it if you don't like seeing the same scenes played over again

Thought-provoking, Edgy, Ambitious

See it if Isabelle Huppert

Don't see it if Chris Noth

Great acting, Confusing, Dizzying

See it if You are eager to see Isabelle Hubbert, a brilliant actress.

Don't see it if You prefer a plot that makes sense & has resolution.

Overrated, Great acting, Disappointing, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if You’re a fan of Isabelle Huppert. She’s a force of nature in the show, whether you like the show, her character, or the central premise.

Don't see it if You want a linear plot line. It dissolves, twists,’re uncomfortable with the idea of incest, mental illness, or dementia.

A privilege, Dizzying, Confounding

See it if you’d like to be in the same room as Isabelle Huppert.

Don't see it if you’re not willing to fill in narrative gaps.

Also Huppert can take you right into her head when she stares off into spac... Read more Read less

Intense, Thought-provoking, Riveting, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you love full out, committed acting.Huppert is brilliant and as always takes risks on stage.Here they work in a difficult and confusing play

Don't see it if you aren't interested in psychopathology or disturbed relationships.The play is only about Huppert's character.Everyone else is a reflection

Must see performance by isabelle huppert, Riveting, Freudian, Intense, Confusing

See it if You want to see the talented Huppert crush this physically & emotionally challenging role See if you are ok with muddy reality & anxiety

Don't see it if You would be bothered by a lot of repetition of events from different perspectives or if you would get restless with tons of dysfunction

Also The performance will leave you breathless but the play will irritate t... Read more Read less

Excruciating, Profound, Intelligent, Great staging

See it if I chose to see this show because of the Atlantic Theater, the author & the cast including Isabelle Huppert and Chris Noth. It's a harrowing

Don't see it if portrait of a middle-aged woman, wife and mother's deteriorating mental state. Husband, son and son's woman friend seem to want to help.

Slow, Disappointing

See it if you want to see a tough performance by Isabelle Huppert. That is really the only reason to see this play.

Don't see it if you want to be engaged in a show. Don't see it if you are expecting it to be as engrossing as "The Father" with Frank Langella.

Also I found the repeated scenes did not really move the story along. I cou... Read more Read less

Slow, Indulgent, Disappointing, Confusing, Cliched

See it if you simply want to see Isabelle Luppert in a sometimes frenetic role. Her performance, for me, was the only highlight by the time it ended.

Don't see it if sadly, there are lots of reasons. It ran less than 90 min but felt agonizingly long. Disjointed structure. Stilted, dreadful characters.

Also Quite frankly, I think I missed the whole point. About half the audien... Read more Read less

Boring, Slow, Disappointing, Banal

See it if You want to see the magnetic Isabelle Huppert in a really, really bad play.

Don't see it if You have to be selective about what you see - there are so many good things to see, not a lot of reason to pick this.

Also Well, this one was a stinker. As wonderful as Huppert is, the play jus... Read more Read less

Great staging, Outstanding acting, Clever

See it if you like plays that expertly weave thematic elements, that emerge and repeat with variation, plus a tour-de-force performance from Huppert!

Don't see it if you like your plays delivered a little more straight up, get confused easily, prefer a large production, have problem with French accent...

Disappointing, Great acting, Funny

See it if you a big fan of Isabelle Huppert. She's very funny and generally rises above the faults of the play.

Don't see it if you are uncomfortable with mothers coming on to their sons. My companion was very turned off and consequently, didn't care for the play.

Profound, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Edgy, Absorbing

See it if you like provocative theater that makes you question your life. Bizarre perspective of the title character forced on the audience.

Don't see it if you want linear, understandable theater that only entertains.

Confusing, Intense, Slow, Great acting

See it if You like stories with multiple twists and meanings and complex issues.

Don't see it if You expect a play with light humor or simple topics.

March 11th, 2019
“It is not a tidy performance. And it almost rips the seams out of Zeller’s carefully measured study of one woman’s disintegration. But there’s no denying that Huppert’s Anne is compulsively watchable, even as she drags you, squirming, clean out of your comfort zone...Huppert fills the stage in a...
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March 11th, 2019
"Zeller is presumably aiming for Pinteresque poignancy, but the play winds up in Freud 101, right down to its Oedipal core...As her bipolar bitchiness gives way to despair, confusion and fantasy, the pace slows to a slog. A so-called 'black farce,' this downer of a play is only fitfully funny and...
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March 11th, 2019
“The great Huppert is such a uniquely fascinating stage creature she almost makes it possible to overlook the stiff mechanics of Zeller's psychodrama and its familiar structural tricks...Cullman's taut production...does a fine job of dressing up the thin text with stylish design elements...Hupper...
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March 11th, 2019
“Don’t be surprised about the Oedipal vibe to ‘The Mother’, which gets weird, but Smith and Huppert are so good together that you can’t wait for him to get on stage so they can do their creepy mother/son dance all over again...With its fluid use of time and very dark humor, ‘The Mother’ is certai...
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