Darren Aronofsky makes films that polarize people. It's part of what he does. He makes films more for the reactions they inspire than any specific storytelling goal, as far as I can tell anyway. His latest film, mother!, scored a rare F from CinemaScore, an opening night audience polling aggregator. It inspired some pretty visceral reactions when it was released in September, and Screen Junkies' Honest Trailer for the film does a good job of breaking the film down to its barest elements.
My major problem with mother! was that it's just not a good enough film to inspire any kind of meaningful discussion. It functions as nothing but a pretentious live action adaptation of Shel Silverstein's "The Giving Tree" if you're so inclined to look past the rather obvious biblical metaphors. It's as if while making Noah, Aronofsky thought of himself and his creative process in the same terms as those of God's in creating the world and perfecting it. The whole thing comes off like a sorry/not sorry love letter to his exes, understanding their sacrifice in helping him achieve his goals but hoping that they too will understand that their sacrifice was worth it in the end so he could create something beautiful.
As much as he wants to be and as much as it might ultimately help justify his means, Darren Aronofsky is not a genius. I recognize the irony of this mirroring one of my favorite lines in Royal Tenenbaums, "Why would a review make the point of saying someone's not a genius?" I guess I make a point of saying so because he's the one drawing parallels between artist and god. If you're a glutton for punishment, mother! is available on DVD, Blu-ray, and Digital HD.