Darren Aronofsky’s new film mother! arrived in nachoplexes this weekend (15th September) carrying a huge weight of anticipation following a carefully calibrated and secretive marketing campaign and a premiere screening at the Venice Film Festival that provoked both applause and catcalls from the audience (at least at the early morning press screening). Now sooner did it arrive than it died at the box office, opening below projections with a reported $7.5m in the US and achieving a rare F from Cinemascore, the lowest possible rating from the site that polls opening weekend audiences in the US as they leave the theatre.
Equating the worth of a movie to its box office success is something only idiots do, but it is interesting to consider why Aronofsky’s film has received such a rough reception from audiences whilst simultaneously being generally well received by critics. That is what I’m going to try to do with this blog whilst also discussing the film, and my personal interpretation of its meaning in depth.
In order to achieve this, I will thoroughly spoil the film. So if you haven’t seen it and you intend to… do not read past the jump. In fact, even if you don’t intend to see it, don’t read past the jump. Because who knows, one night you might stumble over it in late night TV, or find it as an in-flight movie (a hilariously unlikely prospect, but you never know). Trust me, you should see this film as cold as possible for it to realize maximum effect. Continue reading