As part of our retrospective series on the films of Darren Aronofsky, we are proud to present The Fountain. The movie had a long journey to the big screen, cycling through actors after production fell apart weeks before filming was to start. The project was eventually relaunched with Rachel Weisz and Hugh Jackman. While Aronofsky’s other films explore the darkness of human nature and the depths to which man will plunge in pursuit of obsession, The Fountain instead offers a life-affirming, spiritual exploration.
Told through three simultaneous stories, The Fountain stars Hugh Jackman as Dr. Tommy Creo, a man searching among Amazonian plant samples for a cure to the cancer that is killing his wife, Izzi (played by Rachel Weisz). In a novel being written by Izzi, he also plays Spanish conquistador, Tomas Verde, commissioned by Queen Isabella (also played by Weisz) to search for the Fountain of Youth during the Spanish Inquisition. These stories are further intercut with a third narrative in which Jackman plays an interstellar monk, adrift in space on a chunk of dirt he shares with a mysterious tree. A historical romance spliced with a psychedelic space opera and dusted with a visual palette recalling baroque paintings, The Fountain is a one-of-a-kind movie—so dense it approaches being incomprehensible, yet remains unforgettable.
“Perhaps in twenty more years or so, [The Fountain] will be recognized for the utterly gorgeous masterpiece that it is.” — Christopher Runyon, Movie Mezzanine
“So simple, so elaborate, and yet so utterly brilliant . . .” — Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed
“. . . the only true immortality is the stories we tell each other, because our best stories will live forever. And The Fountain is one of our best stories.” — Mikey Neumann, FilmJoy