The Fountain – Movies – Review – New York Times

Since 2006 was my Year of Overlooked Pop-Culture, I missed this scintillating A.O. Scott review. This is A.O. at his best: An appreciation for concepts that don’t quite work, constructive criticism of what went wrong and how things may have been better done, and the usual healthy dose of pretension-deflating humour. The Fountain was never on my to-see list, but I try never to miss a Tony Scott write-up.

In “The Fountain,” Darren Aronofsky’s third feature (after “Pi” and “Requiem for a Dream”), Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz play star-crossed lovers in three different eras. Back in the 16th century, Ms. Weisz is Queen Isabel, a glowingly beautiful monarch menaced by the cruel intolerance of the Spanish Inquisition. (I know, I didn’t suspect it either.) Mr. Jackman is Tomas, a conquistador of sad countenance and unruly beard, hacking his way through the Central American jungles in search of the Tree of Life and in the service of his queen.

In the present, Mr. Jackman is a clean-shaven research scientist named Tom Creo, obsessively trying to develop a cure for the disease that threatens the life of his glowingly beautiful wife, Izzi (Ms. Weisz). Five hundred years in the future, Tom’s head is completely bald, and he floats through the air. Ms. Weisz, if I’m not mistaken, has turned into a tree.

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