Here’s what “Mother!” director Darren Aronofsky has to say about that F CinemaScore

It was a surprise to everyone when writer-director Darren Aronofsky’s latest film got an “F” from CinemaScore. Mother! seemed to have it all — stops at prestigious film festivals before its theatrical release, two A-List stars in Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem, and Aronofsky at the helm.

Whatever the reason, the film has gotten pretty mixed reviews thus far, but the F-rating from CinemaScore is a pretty rare diss. In fact, only 19 films have ever received such a grade.

Following a screening of Mother!, Aronofsky was asked about his feelings on the matter.

"What’s interesting about that is, like, how — if you walk out of this movie — are you not going to give it an ‘F?’ It’s a punch," he told The Frame's John Horn. "It’s a total punch"

Filmmaking is a very personal experience for creatives on every level, so to receive a negative response can be really difficult. But it seems like Aronofsky has a good perspective on the matter.

"We were excited by that," he continued. "We wanted to make a punk movie and come at you. And the reason I wanted to come is because I was very sad and I had a lot of anguish and I wanted to express it. Filmmaking is such a hard journey. People are constantly saying no to you. And to wake up every morning and get out of bed and to face all those 'no's, you have to be willing to really believe in something."

Basically, he explained, Mother! was his chance to “howl” about his anguish and outrage.

And he knew that not everybody would be a fan of that.

"We’re basically holding up a mirror to what’s going on," the director explained. "All of us are doing this. But that final chapter hasn’t been written and hopefully things can change. And, to go back, the fact that it’s going down right now and things are really falling apart in a way that is really scary.

Despite the F grade, Mother! retains a “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. And despite mixed reviews from fans, many critics have praised the film, so y’know — you win some, you lose some.