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Jennifer Lawrence Explains What Mother! Is Really About

Warning: This post contains potential spoilers for mother!

With its jarring juxtaposition of critical acclaim and a dreaded F CinemaScore grade, Darren Aronofsky's mysterious horror-thriller film mother! has been perplexing audiences more and more as the days go by. And even more than the divisive response the film has received, many still don't understand what exactly the movie is about. Is it a commentary on motherhood and femininity, a depiction of what it means to be a creative male figure, or simply about director Aronofsky himself?

Lead actress Jennifer Lawrence recently sat down with Entertainment Weekly to offer her own insight on the true meaning of mother!

Lawrence started simply, agreeing with the interviewer that mother! is a dark version of the Shel Silverstein picture book The Giving Tree. "Darren gave me that book! That was one of our references—she is the giving tree," the actress said of her character, Mother. 

When asked how she would explain the film to those who want to know what it's about, Lawrence stated that she has "different answers" that could all be true. "One of them in short is: the movie was called Day Six [on set]. It could be about the creation and the end of the universe. You have the creation of man and women and then the corruption of man and woman and then overpopulation and creation and religion and so on and so forth," she explained. 

Lawrence then discussed the script, which immediately drew her in due to its many wistful analogies and its uniqueness. "[Aronofsky] told me these ideas that he had for an allegory and the metaphors he wanted to work with. I was in. It was the most unique sounding movie I'd ever heard, and incredibly brave," Lawrence said. "I feel like there's different schools of thought on this movie. Some think: don't tell anyone anything, let them figure it out on their own. I feel like it's better to know and understand the metaphor and allegories because then you know what you are looking at. I've been spilling the themes and metaphors all over town!"

She also stated that working with Aronofsky, whom she's been dating since September 2016, was "interesting." Lawrence explicated: "He's totally different than anybody I've ever worked with. He's really instinctive. He's obviously incredibly creative and really instinctual, but he's really specific which was interesting. The entire vision of the movie is him. It's all conceived by him. He's specific but at the same time open to discussion. It was a really good environment." She then called Aronofsky the "bravest" and "certainly the most controversial director of our time."

As far as the split opinions on mother!, Lawrence stated that there "is no middle ground" with the movie, and the creative team knew the response was divided. However, that hasn't put a damper on their mood. "That's what so exciting—everybody is going to feel something. It's going to create a conversation. It's going to create a controversy," said Lawrence. 

Though mother! hasn't performed well commercially, it could find a solid audience when it's released for home viewing and on streaming sites in the future, following in the footsteps of these box office bombs that later became cult classics.