darren aronofsky on mother f cinemescore

The “F” rating on CinemaScore is a dubious badge of honor that has been bestowed on few other films — which range from misunderstood, to mismarketed, to just plain terrible.

Few filmmakers would rejoice in an audience hating their movie, but Darren Aronofsky isn’t like many other filmmakers. The mother! director knows all about his film’s F CinemaScore — the lowest rating a film can get in a poll of audience reactions — and he embraces it. Encourages it, even.

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Mother! TV spot

Cinephiles rejoice anytime writer/director Darren Aronofsky makes a new movie, because love him or hate him, his films always give us plenty to talk about. That’s especially true with mother!, his horror thriller that’s been ripping audiences apart since it made its festival debut. The film is so divisive, in fact, that it earned a rare “F” CinemaScore when it opened in wider release last week and even inspired Paramount Pictures to release a statement defending their decision to distribute the film in the first place.

Paramount has been knocked over by a wave here, but instead of sputtering and quietly crawling back to the shore, the studio is embracing the film’s polarizing response and defiantly turning toward the ocean, arms spread wide and chin held high, ready to be sent sprawling by the next one crashing toward them.
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What mother is really about

Leave it to Darren Aronofsky to lob a cinematic concussion grenade right in the middle of September. The writer/director’s latest film, mother!, is layer upon layer of allegory and metaphor, a movie that almost demands a long conversation afterwards to process what you’ve just seen. It’s earned a rare “F” Cinemascore, and Paramount even had to issue a statement defending their decision to release the film (read that here), which is a move that strikes me as crazier than anything that happens in the actual movie.

Aronofsky and his star Jennifer Lawrence have spoken about how they intended the movie to be about Mother Nature, and in a new interview, the filmmaker answers more questions about what mother! is really about. But do his intentions matter any more?
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darren aronofsky batman

Darren Aronofsky‘s Batman pitch was one of the famed projects stewing in development hell for years, cast aside by Warner Bros. executives for being too dark a take on a property that generally attracts families. The project, which Aronofsky worked on with Batman: Year One writer Frank Miller in 1999, envisioned an R-rated Batman who grew up on the streets, fighting villains in a ski mask and wielding brass knuckles.

But Aronofsky didn’t get his chance to do his “Travis Bickle”-style Batman, and the Caped Crusader got his gritty, realistic reboot with Christopher Nolan‘s Batman Begins instead. But with Aronofsky on his mother! press tour, questions about his Batman project keep coming up, and he revealed who he would have cast if his film had come to pass.

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mother! early reviews

(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: Darren Aronofsky’s mother!)

Darren Aronofsky’s talents extend beyond his gripping filmmaking, inspiring intense debate among those who watch the finished product. His latest film, mother!, is starting to inspire the loudest debate of all: those who have seen the film (whether or not they’ve walked out before it ended) are fiercely divided among those who love it and those who helped give it a CinemaScore of F this past weekend. Technically, a lot happens in mother!, but there’s not exactly a plot or character arcs on display (neither of which, of course, are necessary). The film does bear similarities to many of Aronofsky’s previous films, from Black Swan to Noah, but it’s still very singular. What else could you call a movie where a massive group of people devour a newborn baby?

Ah, but I’m getting ahead of myself. To attempt to answer the question at the core of mother! — to wit, what the hell is this about? — it’s worth exploring the multiple allegories that present themselves throughout.

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mother cinemascore

mother! is polarizing, to say the least.

While critics have lauded the film for its provocative and daring narrative with an absolutely off-the-rails third act — while also eliciting a fair share of both revulsion and reverence amongst them — audiences are firmly against Darren Aronofsky‘s newest film. Blame it on misleading marketing, or star Jennifer Lawrence drawing in fans who “just wouldn’t get it,” but mother! has earned the rare “F” grade on Cinemascore.

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joker batman

Before Christopher Nolan gave Batman a gritty makeover and Zack Snyder doubled down on the grimdark take, there was Darren Aronofsky and his shelved Batman: Year One project.

The project, which drew inspiration from Frank Miller‘s similarly-titled comic book, envisioned a Travis Bickle-like Bruce Wayne who grew up an orphan in the crime-ridden streets of Gotham, donning a ski mask, cape, and brass knuckles to fight criminals. The project languished in development hell for years before Warner Bros. pulled the plug, but it seems like traces of the idea may still be floating around. Aronofsky, who is currently doing the press rounds for his newest bonkers film mother!, says that he sees more than a few similarities between the description of Todd Phillipsupcoming Joker origin movie and Aronofsky’s own Batman pitch.

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mother!

Note: There are some minor spoilers here, because it’s almost impossible to talk about this movie without spoiling something.

Don’t you hate it when noisome houseguests won’t take a hint? In mother!, the latest film from Darren Aronofsky, the prospect of unwanted company becomes immensely sinister and leads to much more chaotic results.

Aronofsky is a filmmaker who gravitates towards stories about the destructive side of obsession, and here he takes that theme to the extreme and then takes it even further. But the twist here is that the story isn’t being told from the point of view of the obsessive, destructive individual, but rather from someone in his orbit.

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mother clip

Early buzz for Darren Aronofsky‘s horror thriller mother! has been largely positive since its Venice Film Festival debut earlier this week, even if many of the responses include a variation on “WTF?” along with their praise. Paramount has released some truly unsettling trailers for the Jennifer Lawrence/Javier Bardem vehicle so far, and now they’re at it again with a couple of new mother! clips that add to the movie’s turmoil bubbling just below the surface. Warning: there’s a small plot reveal lurking late in one of these, so if you’d rather go into this film relatively cold, it’s probably best to skip them altogether.
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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

mother viral

We’re only a few weeks away from the release of Darren Aronofsky‘s mother!, and in the wake of the film’s enigmatic trailers, Paramount is slowly unspooling information about the horror thriller that stars Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem.

A new batch of viral marketing has divulged a major revelation about Lawrence’s character that the posters and trailers have kept secret until now. Take a look at the movie’s newest poster (complete with a hidden message printed on it!), check out some new TV spots, and uncover one of the film’s big secrets below. Warning: a potential spoiler lies ahead.
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