Actually, Jennifer Lawrence Thinks Audiences Should Have Known a Bit More About Mother! Before Seeing It

“It’s an assault, and it needs to be.”


Love it or hate it, one thing everyone can agree on is that Mother! very well may be the year’s most divisive film. Its “F” Cinema Score confirms pretty much that, which co-exists with its current 68% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Would that Cinema Score be different though if viewers had been equipped with more knowledge than the hilariously cryptic trailers before going into it? Jennifer Lawrence seems to think so. Even if the film’s director and intentionally mysterious marketing didn’t seem to agree.

According to the film’s co-star, no one should be going into the film without understanding the basis of it. “He wants people to go in blind,” she told The New York Times in a new profile on the film, referencing the director and her boyfriend Darren Aronofsky. “You’re going to miss all of the detail and all of the brilliance behind the whole movie. My advice is to understand the allegory.” As for what that allegory is — spoiler alert — there are a few different layers but the central one is that the house, where all of the action in the film unfolds, represents the planet, Lawrence is Mother Earth, and Javier Bardem is God. Without giving away too much, Jennifer Lawrence spends the whole movie trying to protect herself from humanity, who ravage the house among other things.

“You have the creation of people, you have the creation of religion itself, people reading the same writing and arguing over its meaning, false idols,” Lawrence explains of the religious references, which she didn’t have a hard time dissecting. “I was a Bible nerd — Bible study every Sunday.”

Even with understanding that allegory though, the film is no easier to watch — at least in this writer’s experience. Apparently, it was no easier to read as a screen play, as J. Law revealed that she had a hard time digesting it. “When I first read it,” she said, “I didn’t even want it in my house. I thought it was evil, almost… I’ve never felt so insecure. We wrapped the movie, and I’ve been sweating bullets ever since.”

But Lawrence feels passionately about the film’s takeaway. “What I’ve always loved about Darren is, he’s unapologetic and he’s bold,” she said, adding, “I agreed with the film’s message wholeheartedly. It’s an assault, and it needs to be.”

Though, it’s worth noting that Aronofsky thought if audiences knew too much about the film before seeing they might be preemptively freaked out.

Related: Why Mother! Was an “F” Cinema Score Perfect Storm

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