Darren Aronofsky is one of the most acclaimed modern directors in the business right now. His dramas are complicated and fascinating looks into the human experience, and he's managed to accrue quite a few awards and nominations through movies like Black Swan, The Wrestler, and Requiem For A Dream. But his latest silver screen installment didn't go over quite as well. 2017 brought us Aronofsky's controversial allegory mother!, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem. While anticipation for the film was at a high before its release, its complex themes and brutal imagery didn't sit well with audiences. But everyone involved in mother! seems to stand by the film, and now the director/writer has opened up about why he created the project in the first place.
I wanted to make a film about Mother Earth and how we treat Mother Earth. The way I see we treat Mother Earth is incredibly disrespectful. We pillage her, we rape her, we call her dirt.
Soon after its general release, it became clear that mother! was a far more abstract and artistic movie than its trailers necessary let on. While the film starts in realism, its runtime sees the entire tale get more and more chaotic, with both Jennifer Lawrence's character and her beloved home being destroyed by the mobs of outsiders who want nothing but to take and kill-- and all in the name of Javier Bardem's Him.
The allegorical nature of the film becomes all the more obvious in mother!'s final moments. After mother gives everything she can to Him including her crystalized heart, the house itself repairs and becomes the idyllic setting. A new woman is shown taking Jennifer Lawrence's place, revealing that the cycle of destruction would continue until something big changes.
In his same conversation at SXSW (via Variety), Darren Aronofsky revealed how the themes of nature and sustainability were at the film's core during filming, which influenced Jennifer Lawrence's layered and sometimes savage performance in mother! He said,
That's why Jennifer played the character the way she did. There's a lot of emotion.
Darren Aronofsky certainly makes a point, as Jennifer Lawrence's fearless performance in mother! is full of pain and emotion. While she's a subdued and sweet woman during the film's first act, we see as mother attempts to keep it together as outsiders begin invading her home and destroying what she's worked so hard for. Unfortunately, mother! didn't get as much awards buzz as Aronofsky films are wont to do.
Darren Aronofsky doesn't have any directing projects coming down the pipeline, although he's producing a bunch of projects. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.