New ‘mother!’ Ad Spotlights the Film’s Bad Reviews
Some of the feedback I’ve gotten from moviegoers who’ve seen mother! and were frustrated by it blamed the film’s marketing. They felt like they were being promised a more traditional horror movie (possibly even a secret remake of Rosemary’s Baby, based on the poster above that was inspired by that film’s famous key art). Instead, they got Aronofsky’s gonzo treatise on religion, the environment, and a woman’s place in the home and society. Others have pointed to the film’s F from CinemaScore, an audience polling service whose grades are often more of an indication of expectations met or missed than actual quality, as a sign that the film wasn’t quite as advertised.
Well, it appears that the marketing department at Paramount has heard those complaints, or at least is shifting gears. A new image it posted to the film’s official Twitter account Friday calls mother! “the most controversial movie in decades” (probably not true, but okay) and then is split down the middle. On one side are the five-star reviews from places like The Guardian and Time Out New York; on the other are some... less glowing notices:
I’ll give them this: The poster has as much chutzpah as the movie. Personally, I think the image of Jennifer Lawrence’s beaten face is kind of in poor taste. (Also, is it suggesting that the critics who gave these negative reviews are pounding on JLaw?) But I like that the film embracing the divergent opinions. As a critic, I can’t tell you you’re going to love, or even like, mother! But I can tell you you won’t be bored. You’re definitely going to be on one side of that poster or the other.