Fifteen minutes into The Fountain, you get a bald man sitting in a snow globe talking to a tree while drifting through space. At that point, you either go with writer/director Darren Aronofsky (Pi, Requiem for a Dream), or you shut the movie off to make the pain go away. Fortunately, that initial leap of faith is the hardest.
I started to dig the way the movie jumped back and forth between parallel events and similar characters, but in the end, I have no idea what I’m supposed to take away from The Fountain. I guess it’s all about life and death, love and absence, and things too ephemeral to approach rationally. It might be brilliant or it might be a profundity tease. In any case, it didn’t inspire me enough to continue thinking about it.
The best thing about the movie is Hugh Jackman’s performance, full of passion, fear, and desperation. It’s the best I’ve seen from him. Rachel Weisz is also good as his lover through the ages. Clint Mansell delivers a good score and Matthew Libatique serves up some nice, moody (albeit predictable and increasingly homogenized) cinematography. (Seriously, does EVERY movie have to be high-contrast and monochromatic these days?)
Scott studied film and sociology at Indiana University and is currently the video producer for a large publishing company. He is the director of several independent films, including "House of Hope," "Off the Beaten Path," "The Day Joe Left," and "Found." For more about Scott, visit www.scottschirmer.com. Scott is also one of the principal organizers of the Dark Carnival Film Festival. (www.darkcarnivalfilmfest.com)