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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 18.69%
Average: 11.21%
Pretty Bad: 11.21%
Total Crap: 10.28%

8 reviews, 59 user ratings

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Fountain, The
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by William Goss

"Good To The Last Drop"
5 stars

After spending years in development, writer/director Darren Aronofsky has finally followed up his harrowing 'Requiem for a Dream' with 'The Fountain.'

A meditative triptych of tales, each concerns a pair of lovers (Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz) as he fights futilely to deliver her from a fate she has already come to terms with, whether as a conquistador on a crusade to find the Tree of Life for his queen 500 years ago, a doctor hoping to cure his dying love in modern times, or an astronaut of sorts journeying to the dying nebula of Xibalba 500 years hence. Not unlike 2002’s Solaris remake in many respects – besides the somewhat shared setting and themes, both films were released near Thanksgiving with an appealed PG-13 rating and barely an audience – The Fountain is an admirably uncompromised vision, in spite of its overlapping narrative threads being topped off with a significant portion of spiritual mysticism.

Aronofosky’s impressive ambition and captivating vision create an organic sensibility in line with the grander themes of reincarnation and transcendence, repeating several lines and scenes in an effort to implement a cinematic trance of sorts as the three tales entwine on a variety of levels. The recurrence of the natural division of twos and threes in addition to abstract religious motifs proves particularly effective, as Jackman stubbornly and regrettably sees death only as an end, even after Weisz has come to accept her fate as a new beginning, searching for more time instead valuing what precious time he still has with her. The Fountain exists as a thematic polar opposite to Requiem, as essentially constructive as that film was destructive, although that dichotomy exists within this one as well.

Aronofsky exudes a confidence in his direction, regarding most every facet with a remarkable sense of purity. From prior collaborations on Pi and Requiem return ever-graceful cinematographer Matthew Libatique, maintaining a visual symmetry akin to the narrative parallels, and composer Clint Mansell, whose reunion with the acclaimed Kronos Quartet yields a haunting score that makes for a more-than-worthy aural complement. However, the most critical elements are Jackman and Weisz, who together sell their delicate relationship with utmost sincerity on an intensely intimate yet equally epic scale. Aronofsky has no reluctance to all but worship Weisz as a saint of a woman (they are engaged off-camera) – her effortless radiance notwithstanding – but it is more Jackman’s burden to bear as his conflicted champion struggles with love and loss, guilt and grief, science and faith across a millennia. The resulting relationship is so very potent and tender that to imagine the prior pairing of Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett in these crucial roles seems as demanding a task as any of Jackman’s challenges.

Aronofsky embraces the poetic notion that “death is the road to awe” and encompasses it with an ethereal poignancy that surpasses the nigh incomprehensible narratives. A film of pensive regard, as likely to induce snores and snickers in the unwilling or unwitting (not to mention blind adoration by film majors worldwide), 'The Fountain' may fall short of the realm of truly transcendent cinema, but it nevertheless makes for a rich and rewarding experience that demands to be surrendered to in a manner all too rare in modern moviemaking. In that respect, it is a genuine work of heart.

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originally posted: 11/30/06 18:15:09
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Toronto Film Festival For more in the 2006 Toronto Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Fantastic Fest For more in the 2006 Fantastic Fest series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Vancouver Film Festival For more in the 2006 Vancouver Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Chicago Film Festival For more in the 2006 Chicago Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

12/29/17 morris campbell strange but compellling good visuals 4 stars
11/08/14 ugg モカシン UNITED States private employers added a larger-than-expected 198,000 jobs in February, bols 5 stars
3/28/14 JQ This movie is transcendent, describes my spirituality better than anything else I've seen 5 stars
9/29/12 roscoe I couldn't begin to explain it or understand it, but I do know it is terrible. 1 stars
12/09/10 Faraz J Wow..................... wow. 5 stars
6/09/10 Harvey Scott one of my 200 best, loved it! 4 stars
8/02/09 Homer Sills Very poor movie. Bad directing by Aronofsky. 1 stars
3/17/09 Greg White Man is chasing soulution, girl wants to be loved, they are pushed for time. Great movie! 5 stars
3/15/09 Paul Krafel Coming to accept death as part of the "fountain" that sustains the universe. 5 stars
1/15/09 FrankNFurter Creative,visually-stimulating feast for the senses.Moving and strange...a triumph. 5 stars
1/10/09 Anonymous. great visuals, not so great film... 3 stars
10/22/08 Shaun Wallner Awesome Story! 5 stars
5/13/08 Cerberus Shoking. Just saw it and i'm still feeling the affection of idea and music. Addictive. 5 stars
3/02/08 SamanthaPayntr beautiful imagery, i love Rachel Weisz! kind of confusing story, but still good. 4 stars
1/21/08 Brian Mckay beautiful tale of grief with trippy sci-fi story, reminiscent of 2001 or Silent Running 4 stars
12/08/07 Hello Stranger the ideas introduced in this film is amazing. the music and visuals is an added bonus 5 stars
11/24/07 rishi this movie can only be understood by the mystics at heart-touched my soul 5 stars
9/09/07 K. Sear Aronofsky is steadily showing he is a truly brilliant film maker. 5 stars
9/03/07 TreeTiger Good description from EricDSnider - however - the movie still needs more substance... 3 stars
7/20/07 pin Great filmmaking. Loved the ending. 5 stars
6/30/07 Indrid Cold The visuals only partially compensate for an incoherent, baffling story. 3 stars
6/08/07 Monday Morning Couldn't make it through the first 15 minutes 1 stars
5/27/07 fools♫gold Some would think it might look bad, but it means everything. Absolutely no accidents. 5 stars
5/27/07 Caiphn Beautiful film. 5 stars
5/19/07 Bob Right on the money. A poor man's Solaris (soderbergh) 2 stars
4/28/07 Craig Excellent story acting, & non-CGI visuals. 5 stars
4/25/07 Twerpy An interesting film that is worth contemplating, but something missing all the same... 4 stars
2/27/07 QH The most underrated and under apreciated movie ever- easily the best movie of 2006 5 stars
2/03/07 myles moving, ambitious, beautiful, will stand the test of time 5 stars
1/28/07 Edith Tide One of those "WTF did I just see?" flicks 2 stars
1/28/07 Gretchen Seitz Getting stuck in exasperating incoherent roles seems to be Rachel's vice! 1 stars
1/24/07 Ashley Corpening What's with repeaterdly showing Orion in position viewable only from Arctic regions? 1 stars
1/01/07 Sofia The life that is worth living forever is not necesarily the one you know as a human. 4 stars
12/27/06 Agent Sands Cannot explain itself, so it's created in a way relative to an impressionist painting. 3 stars
12/20/06 Rebecca This was a waste of time movie, So arsty and pretenious, and no conclusion to back it up! 1 stars
12/16/06 PAG disappointing 2 stars
12/15/06 arnold very deep emotion wonderful movie 5 stars
12/15/06 margie I can not believe the time i wasted. beautiful pictures, yes. but this is the best review 1 stars
12/12/06 Tiffany Didn't like it very much 2 stars
12/11/06 del meh...good movie, bad ending. Tries too hard to be deep. 3 stars
12/10/06 Yoda This is a love story that spans a 1,000 years and transcends death. Absolutely beautiful. 5 stars
12/09/06 Arty It delivers exactly what the reviewer says it promises-keep you thinking about love & death 5 stars
12/05/06 Nighy Oh, you dork call everything with a cryptic ending a "masterpiece." 2 stars
12/02/06 Alyce This review is completely wrong.This movie is the best of 2006. 5 stars
12/01/06 Prichett Three quarters of a great film, then a total train wreck of an ending...ruined it all. 3 stars
12/01/06 Janus Too bad the reviewer has to puke his own inability to appreciate the film out on this page! 5 stars
11/30/06 Marc If you liked 2001, Solaris, you'll like it 5 stars
11/29/06 Tara This is an ignorant, vapid assesment of this movie. It is a masterpiece. 5 stars
11/28/06 your worst goddamn nightmare Emotional, Beautiful; the cinematography, acting, music... Incredible film 5 stars
11/27/06 Patrick Amazing a movie that has substance and style 5 stars
11/27/06 mlg Don't waste your money going to see this movie 1 stars
11/27/06 MarkF Story line was so condensed that it was missing a rhythm or meter. Acting was great. Studio 1 stars
11/27/06 Victoria This review is one the money! Speaking of money; I want my $9 back. 2 stars
11/27/06 james This review sums up why I never follow the advice of the critics. The movie is great! 5 stars
11/26/06 Morgan If I was on drugs (really, really good ones) this movie would have still sucked. 1 stars
11/26/06 PP I really liked it. I actually thought it was amazing. You must understand love to like it 4 stars
11/25/06 Leslie I liked the film. It takes a very open mind going into it, though. 5 stars
11/25/06 Paul Lundgard i have lost 90 minutes of my life i will never get back and it cost me 40 dollars to do it 1 stars
11/23/06 GB David is completely off the mark (and apparently has never seen either Solaris) 4 stars
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  22-Nov-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 15-May-2007



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