Toronto: Jennifer Lawrence's 'mother!' is even more bonkers than expected
TORONTO — Well, he warned us.
Ahead of Sunday night's presentation of mother!, director Darren Aronofsky apologized to the crowd inside the Princess of Wales theater.
"I'm really, really sorry for what is about to happen," he said onstage. "You're laughing now. I want you all to all to remember, look at each other smiling and laughing, feeling great. So this is your last chance to go. It's OK, we have seat fillers. I won't be offended."
Aronofsky insisted there was a reason for the madness in store. The film "came out of a place of tremendous frustration and rage," he said. "I really wanted to make a film not about my mother, not about your mother, but about our mother. Everyone's laughing! You guys are so in trouble."
Without spoiling it, mother! is a gut-punch of a horror movie about what happens when you, an innocent (played by Jennifer Lawrence), marry a famous man (Javier Bardem playing a poet) who deserts you in your time of need, reveling in the rabid fans (Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer) instead.
During the Q&A that followed the screening, Lawrence revealed what she thought after her initial read of Aronofsky's script (the two began dating after shooting the film). "I thought it was a masterpiece but also that there was something seriously wrong with him," she said.
(I won't spoil it, but I hid behind my hands more than once in the gory third act. Still, 24 hours later I'm still thinking about it, and remain oddly drawn to Aronofsky's gruesome, polarizing tale.)
At the festival, the film leaned into its lore, with PR teams passing out these inscriptions before a press screening earlier in the day.
Here's a sampling of reaction to the film: