With a stack of major box office hits to her name, Jennifer Lawrence is undoubtedly one of our biggest movie stars. But one film of hers that fell a little flat was Mother!.
For context, Jennifer stars in the psychological horror movie with Javier Bardem, who plays her character’s selfish husband. Jen’s unnamed heroine is expecting a baby and — to cut a long story short — things descend into chaos when strangers invade their secluded home.
Following its premiere in September 2017, Mother! was pretty widely dragged, with Variety describing it as a “baroque nightmare that’s about nothing but itself.”
Disappointed viewers found faults with everything from the acting performances to the disturbing nature of the film’s later scenes, but one of the biggest criticisms among fans was the confusing and abstract premise.
The overall message of the movie is still up for debate, but essentially, Jennifer and Javier’s characters were seemingly intended to represent Mother Earth and God, while their sprawling home symbolized the environment — with the invasion of strangers presumably a nod to humanity’s destruction of the earth and its resources.
One article attempted to summarize by explaining that the story "attempts to be a biblical allegory of both the Old and New Testament as well as a brief, deeply misanthropic view of human history." So, yeah.
On top of all this confusion, Mother! also became a major talking point thanks to Jennifer’s relationship with the director, Darren Aronofsky, who is 22 years her senior.
They hit it off on the set of the film, but broke up just two months after its release, with Jennifer later admitting that the negative reviews put an unhealthy strain on their relationship.
And now, six years later, Jen is weighing in on the polarizing movie once again — and this time, she’s being brutally honest.
In yesterday’s episode of Watch What Happens Live, Jennifer and Andy Cohen played a game of “Plead The Fifth,” during which the host asked for her thoughts on the infamously bizarre movie.
“On a scale from one to totally confused, how much did you understand your film Mother!?” Andy said.
Struggling to hide her shock, Jennifer instantly burst into laughter and assured Andy she’d give her most truthful answer.
“I'm going to be honest,” she said, stifling her giggles. “Well, I was sleeping with the director, so I had the CliffsNotes. So, five? Or four.”
“A four!?” Andy hit back in disbelief. “Wow, OK. That’s not high.”
Joking about the controversial romance, Jennifer quipped to the camera that “if anybody needs any tips on understanding their films” they should — in Andy’s words — “fuck the director.”
The Oscar winner hasn’t shied away from discussing the film’s poor reception, saying during a 2017 interview that she felt it was difficult for fans to see her in a role that was so different to her previous characters.
“People saw me being soft-spoken and meek and they hated it. They were like, ‘I like her better when she's Katniss!’” she said. “I think people do fall in love with this idea, but I'm an actor. I have to push myself. I have to try as hard as I can to transform.”
Well, if there’s one thing we love about Jennifer, it’s that she’s always going to choose the honest answer.