Darren Aronofsky on the polarizing nature of mother! and its F CinemaScore

Darren Aronofsky mother! Jennifer Lawrence

Whether you've seen the film or not, you've more than likely taken notice of the extremely polarizing reception towards Darren Aronofsky's MOTHER! Some have absolutely despised the film, while others have embraced it as an ambitious work of art. Simply put, MOTHER! has elicited some strong reactions from audiences which has prompted Paramount Pictures, as well as star Jennifer Lawrence, to come to its defense. The latest to comment on the reaction to MOTHER! is none other than its own writer/director, Darren Aronofsky, who spoke with The Frame's John Horn during a Q&A following a screening of the film at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Darren Aronofsky on the strong reactions MOTHER! has received:

We always knew it was a strong cocktail. It came very much from a place of a lot of frustration and I guess a certain amount of impotent rage on what was going on in the world. I just kind of took all that passion that I was thinking of outside of my filmmaking work and tried to turn it into a story. And I think this isn't a reflection on what's happening right now in the way we treat our mother. But it's also a cautionary tale which I actually like because in a cautionary tale there's room for optimism and I'm very much an optimist. By looking at how we are actually dealing with and treating our home.

When I was trying to tell the history or the story of people on Mother Earth, I was like, Oh, the Bible could be a really kind of good blueprint to sort of hang all these stories. Whatever you believe, it doesn't matter, but there's power in those stories because we can relate to them and they have different types of meanings for different types of people.

On MOTHER! being one of less than twenty films to earn an F rating on CinemaScore:

What's interesting about that is, like, how if you walk out of this movie are you not going to give it an "F?" It's a punch. It's a total punch. And I realize that we were excited by that. We wanted to make a punk movie and come at you. And the reason I wanted to come is because I was very sad and I had a lot of anguish and I wanted to express it. Filmmaking is such a hard journey. People are constantly saying no to you. And to wake up every morning and get out of bed and to face all those no's, you have to be willing to really believe in something. And that's what I look for in my collaborators and what I pitched the actors I said, Look, this isn't going to be a popularity contest. We're basically holding up a mirror to what's going on. All of us are doing this. But that final chapter hasn't been written and hopefully things can change. And, to go back, the fact that it's going down right now and things are really falling apart in a way that is really scary.

It's scary when you talk to the people who are studying this and thinking about this and then you have other people who basically believe in the power of a iPhone that they can communicate to 35 million people in a blink of an eye, yet they don't believe in science in other ways. You know, which is as proven as gravity at this point, really. It has as many people believe in it as believe in gravity. And it scares me and it's time to start screaming. So I wanted to howl. And this was my howl. And some people are not going to want to listen to it. That's cool.

I haven't seen MOTHER! myself yet, so I can't throw in my two cents as to whether these reactions are warrented, but it's certainly been entertaining to observe the discussions which the film has prompted.

Those of you who have seen MOTHER!, let us know your thoughts on the film in the comments below.

MOTHER! is now paying in theaters, so be sure to check out a review from our own Chris Bumbray!

Source: The Frame



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