Darren Aronofsky’s “Mother!” — about a woman (Jennifer Lawrence) who lives with her husband (Javier Bardem) on a deserted farmhouse — has generated more debate than any film to debut at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
The Paramount Pictures release, which opens on Friday, has been shrouded in mystery, and critics are still trying to piece together what it all means. “I wanted to make a film about Mother Nature,” Aronofsky told Variety. “So we’re working on an allegorical level, where it’s dealing with these big symbols.”
When asked if she thought the film was a feminist story, Lawrence answered in the affirmative. “To me, this is incredibly feminist in the way that these Victorian, patriarchal novels show these loving, amazing husbands that are very slowly and delicately taking away their wives’ dignity,” said Lawrence, who was reading “Jane Eyre” during the shoot. “To be a feminist movie, we don’t have to all be women and all be aggressive. Before we knew what feminism was, people were writing these novels that showed women’s strength being drained from them.”
Lawrence said that she hurt herself while making the film. “I had trouble calming down and coming back after he called cut,” she said. “I’ve always been fine snapping out of it, but I’ve never had to go this dark before. I kind of lost control of myself. I tore my diaphragm and popped my chest rib out.” She took a beat. “I don’t know if I’d ever work with Darren again.”
The star of “The Hunger Games” and “Silver Linings Playbook” said that she was rattled when she saw the film on second viewing. “It really shook me,” Lawrence said. “I pulled him in the bathroom” — she said of Aronofsky — “and was like, ‘What have we done?’”
Aronofsky liked that his film has been generating discussion. “I think what’s exciting about the movie is that it’s open for interpretation,” he said. “I wrote it in the eighth year of Obama. It’s coming out in the first year of Trump. My intention was very different from where we are now.”
Will the United States ever elect a female president? “I really hope so,” Lawrence said. “I mean, that was a hit,” she said about Trump’s surprise victory last November.
“There are a lot of amazing female politicians,” Aronofsky added. “I’ve heard some crazy number of women are starting campaigns now.”
Lawrence threw out a name. “Kamala Harris!”