THE TOP TEN: #8: The Fountain
The Fountain is a bit like The Departed in a way, in that it's not perfect, not entirely polished. It's a bit verbose, a bit pretentious, a bit laughable, a bit mystifying. But, like The Departed, it's a better film for these faults, because what The Fountain lares bare is the mind of auteur Darren Aronofsky. Outside of David Lynch this is the strangest American film I've seen in years, an ambitious, overwhelming sensory experience that might make no narrative sense but, as does Lynch, coheres into an emotional rush that has you weeping as the credits roll. The Fountain's arching concern is the acceptance of death- Hugh Jackman's triple character has him searching for the antidote to death, accepting his wife's death, and transcending death. Aronofsky's philosophical concerns bleed into The Fountain's every pore, from the ethereal photographing of his partner Rachel Weisz to the gorgeous, erratic scoring from Clint Mansell. The Fountain blends mythic culture, scientific confusions and meditative ethereality to create a unique experience, one that openly exposes its complicated and messy origins to let the audience open itself to the feeling entirely.