Jennifer Lawrence’s new movie Mother! has left critics bemused and baffled, with one labeling it the ‘worst movie of the century’.
Directed by her partner Darren Aronofsky, the grim psychological thriller is causing audiences to leave in a daze, stunned by the ‘tasteless nightmare’ as one review dubbed it.
Indeed, CinemaScore, which tracks audience reactions on opening night has given the movie a rare F and New York Observer critic Rex Reed tore into the film, calling it a complete disaster and gave it zero stars out of five.
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That’s a shocker: Hollywood darling Jennifer Lawrence‘s chiller Mother! opened in theaters on Thursday earning a rare F grade from audiences, according to CinemaScore on Friday
Reed pulled no punches in his excoriating review, slamming the $30m art-house flick as nonsense.
‘Nothing about Mother! makes one lick of sense as Darren Aronofsky’s corny vision of madness turns more hilarious than scary.
‘With so much crap around to clog the drain, I hesitate to label it the ‘Worst movie of the year’, when ‘Worst movie of the century’ fits it even better.
The critic, who has previously been unimpressed with Aronofsky’s work, wrote: ‘Nothing he’s done before to poison the ozone layer prepared me for Mother!, an exercise in torture and hysteria so over the top that I didn’t know whether to scream or laugh out loud.
‘Stealing ideas from [Roman] Polanski, [Federico] Fellini and [Stanley] Kubrick, he’s jerrybuilt an absurd Freudian nightmare that is more wet dream than bad dream, with the subtlety of a chainsaw.’
Despite earning a 69 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the website warns the movie is a ‘singularly ambitious artistic vision’ and concludes it may be ‘too unwieldy for mainstream tastes’.
Richard Roeper, the prominent film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times said that despite Jennifer Lawrence’s performance, he questioned what Aronofsky was trying achieve and thought that he was mocking specific passages of the bible.
Kyle Smith of the National Review felt that these sequences went too far and called the movie ‘a biblically-infused version of torture porn’ and said that ‘it may be the most vile and contemptible motion picture ever released’.
‘To experience the final half-hour is to understand what it must feel like to be a clump of broccoli in a Cuisinart,’ wrote Smith.
However, Ann Hornaday of the Washington Post felt that the film was nuanced and compared Jennifer Lawrence’s acting to that of Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby.
The Daily Mail’s Brian Viner wrote on a one-out-of-five-stars review: ‘Cinematic Marmite! That was the verdict on Mother! following its premiere at the Venice Film Festival earlier this month.
As in the case of the sticky brown yeast extract popular in Britain, we were told, film-goers would either love it or hate it.’
The Marmite hater added: ‘I would rather eat a vat of the stuff than sit through Darren Aronofsky’s wildly pretentious slab of self-indulgence again.’
Gorgeous in a white gown: Jennifer, 27, and her director beau Darren Aronofsky, 48, at the New York premiere of Mother! on Wednesday
There aren’t many movies that have received an F grade from CinemaScore, according to the website.
They include Brad Pitt‘s Killing Them Softly in 2012, Cameron Diaz‘s The Box in 2009, Lindsay Lohan‘s I Know Who Killed Me in 2007, George Clooney‘s Solaris in 2002 and Richard Gere‘s Dr. T And The Women in 2000.
It suggested that one reason the movie might have received the low rating is something that Jennifer pointed out during her Late Night With Seth Meyers interview on Thursday: The movie isn’t exactly a horror even though it’s billed as one.
For one thing, the characters don’t have names as such. The 27-year-old plays Mother opposite Javier Bardem as Him, Ed Harris as Man and Michelle Pfeiffer as Woman.
And what seems like a home invasion horror turns out to be something much deeper.
Bottoms up: The star and Late Night host Seth Meyers enjoyed a glass of red wine as she explained that her movie isn’t exactly a horror even though it’s billed as one
The film is also reportedly very violent and disturbing, so it’s likely that some people can’t handle the subject matter although teen fanboys might be drawn to it for that reason.
With the weekend box office results still in play, it’s too soon to tell whether audiences will desert Hollywood favorite Jennifer or whether the challenging story will intrigue them.
A best actress Oscar winner for 2013’s Silver Linings Playbook, Jennifer’s films have grossed over $5.5 billion worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo.
She was named Hollywood’s highest-paid actress in 2015 and 2016 by Forbes.
Doing the rounds: The challenging movie played at the Venice Film Festival in September, among others. Pictured, Darren, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jennifer and Javier Bardem