If I’m to take anything away from Requiem for a Dream (you know, besides drugs are bad), it’s that Darren Aronofsky makes whatever film he wants to make, no matter how fucked up or weird, and doesn’t care. Most of the time Darren’s bonkers movies are well received. And sometimes – cough mother! cough – they’re not.
Despite some critics enjoying Darren’s latest cinematic fever dream, audiences felt it was more like the part of the fever that makes you poop your pants and barf that sour neon yellow acid. It didn’t make a whole lot of money, and its currently sitting on the audience film survey site CinemaScore with a dismal F rating.
Darren was recently asked about that big fat F during a Q&A by The Frame (via The Hollywood Reporter) after the screening of the film in Los Angeles. Darren is totally fine that audiences are walking away from mother! confused and weirded out, because his goal was to make a “punk” movie (scarf dad is totally punk). But he is a little bummed people are being so mean about it.
“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. 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.”
Darren adds that when he pitched the film to Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem, he informed them the film wasn’t going to be a “popularity contest.” He wanted to make a message movie about the current state of things.
“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.”
I haven’t seen mother!, but I did spoil every single aspect of it for myself, including that ending. I don’t know if that F score is because audiences had a hard time watching (SEMI-SPOILER ALERT) all that gore, or if they were just pissed off that they got a little misled by the marketing. If you’re going to open the trailer with a serene-looking Jennifer Lawrence walking around a gorgeous farm house in some casual country wear, you should maybe preface it with a warning. “PLEASE NOTE: The following trailer is not for an Under the Tuscan Sun-style film about America’s Cool Sweetheart searching for the perfect travertine tile for her dream house.”