Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Fountain

I keep seeing this movie on lists of movies to see, and I finally saw it. It was hard for me to watch because it has a focus on life and death and the lengths we sometimes go to to prolong life, but it was worth watching for me just for the insight it provided into my own life and loss. And it is such a beautiful film.  The Fountain is a 2006 Darren Aronofsky science fiction film. from Wikipedia:
At its core, The Fountain is the story of a 21st-century doctor, Tom Creo (Hugh Jackman), losing his wife Izzi (Rachel Weisz) to cancer in 2005. As she is dying, Izzi begs Tom to share what time they have left together, but he is focused on his quest to find a cure for her.
There are 3 separate story lines showing the main characters at different times 500 years apart: the modern-day research doctor Tom and his dying wife Izzy; a Spanish conquistador Tomás on a quest in the Mayan rainforest searching for the biblical Tree of Life for his queen; the future Tommy on the way to the nebula Xibalba with the Tree of Life to that he can restore Izzy's life.

Sometimes you can find this film online, but it is worth having easier access to.


The music was written by Clint Mansell and performed by the Kronos Quartet and Mogwai:

Moria says, "There is no story – just a series of fragments of half-told dramas hung together by a series of visual interplays and pretensions to profundity." Slant Magazine gives it 3 out of 4 stars and says, "the audaciousness with which Aronofsky proceeds is invigorating, just as his marriage of aesthetic and thematic concerns is subtly spellbinding." Slate has a negative review.  Empire Online gives it 4 out of 5 stars and concludes, "At heart, this is a simple Zen fable about love and death. In execution, it’s a complex and gorgeous mini-epic with sterling performances from its two stars." Total Film gives it 4 out of 5 stars and ends with this: "Science-fiction meets emotional fact. An intelligent, time-spanning love story that deserves the benefit of any doubt. Watch. And watch again." Spirituality and Practice says, "Izzy is a spiritual teacher who models for him in many ways a finely finished dying. She is at peace with her passing and fearless. This worthwhile message, which is at the heart of all religions, comes across loud and clear in The Fountain". DVD Talk closes by saying,
Darren Aronofsky has written a script that is philosophical, spiritual, and emotional, and he has somehow dressed it up in truly gorgeous clothes without disappearing up his own behind in a fit of pretentiousness. Working with marvelous performances by Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz, the director has made a movie that is both a heady rush and emotionally powerful, giving us a feast for our eyes while also stimulating our brains and our hearts. A very rare treat.
Roger Ebert says, "There will someday be a Director’s Cut of this movie, and that’s the cut I want to see." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 51%, but the viewer rating is much higher.


  1. The descriptions of the movie made me think of Cloud Atlas with Tom Hanks and Halle Berry with it's many different story lines. Cloud had mixed reviews mostly I think because there is something unsatisfying about multiple story lines that never seem to be fully fleshed out.

    1. I didn't see the movie Cloud Atlas but read the book. I found the book very frustrating. In fact, I ended up not reading it the way it was intended. Instead of reading the stories nested, as they were written, I read the beginning of the first story and then found the rest of that story and finished it. And I did that with the other story lines. I gave the book away to somebody who also didn't like it.

      I found The Fountain different. I thought it had more coherence throughout, but I'm comparing a film I liked with a book I didn't, which is hard. Pi and Black Swan are the only other films by this director I've seen. I have Requiem for a Dream on the shelf. I loved Pi.