Darren Aronofsky is not surprised some viewers of mother! have revolted against the polarizing new film, which scored an F on CinemaScore.
“How, if you walk out of this movie, are you not going to give it an F?” Aronofsky said in a new Q&A with The Frame. “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 [make this movie] 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.”
Aronofsky also discussed how — spoiler alert! — he was inspired to make mother! as a commentary on climate change, and the film’s tone is derived from his anger and anxiety.
“It scares me, and it’s time to start screaming,” he added. “So I wanted to howl. This was my howl, and some people are not going to want to listen to it. That’s cool.”
Listen to the full interview with Aronofsky here.
Last week, mother! became one of the few movies to score an F from CinemaScore audiences — joining other features such as Steven Soderbergh’s Solaris and Andrew Dominik’s Killing Them Softly. Before the release of the Jennifer Lawrence film, Aronofsky told EW he expected the project — which tackles environmental issues through Biblical allegory masked as a home-invasion thriller — to split audiences in two.
“Anytime you do something that aggressive there are going to be people who enjoy it, who want to be on that roller coaster ride, and then there are others who say, ‘Oh no, that was not for me,'” Aronofsky said. “It’s a strange one. You see Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, and Michelle Pfeiffer and people are conditioned for a certain type of movie. And… we didn’t do that type of movie.”
Lawrence, too, said she knew polarized opinions of mother! would occur. “The people who love it love it and want to see it another time. The people who don’t like, absolutely despise it,” she said. “There is no middle ground. We knew that it was divided. That’s what so exciting — everybody is going to feel something. It’s going to create a conversation. It’s going to create a controversy. Nobody is going to leave not getting something from it.”
mother! is out now.