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Heroes of the Zeroes: The Fountain

by on April 20, 2010
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Heroes of the Zeroes is Nick Rogers’ daily, alphabetical look back at the 365 best films of 2000-2009.

“The Fountain”
Rated PG-13

Bless budget cuts that forced director Darren Aronofsky to pare down 2006’s “The Fountain” to a metaphysical marvel that hurtled through consciousness, grief, love, art and science.

This visual alchemist’s most personal work felt like a double helix of love and loss — death entwined with life as existence’s only reliable truths. “The Fountain” offered a transfixing merger of biological imperatives and musings on creativity and tragedy.

Hugh Jackman delivers his most raw performance yet — nervy, impulsive, stubborn and devoted to the point of emotional detriment — in three roles over a thousand-year story arc.

Tomas is an impulsive Spanish conquistador, Tommy is a modern-day medical researcher and Tom Creo is a bubble-bound space traveler — all working to save the life of their beloved Isabel (Rachel Weisz).

Triptychs and motifs let “The Fountain” blossom into a beautiful representation — a metaphor for embracing death’s revelations over its limitations (echoed in rousing requiem qualities of Clint Mansell’s rapturous score, featuring the Kronos Quartet).

Tom must come to a place where death is not to be feared, but revered for the singular knowledge it can offer the living and the late. It’s an aching tear from his lover’s touch — lines traced on the small of a back, a tingle of breath on a neck’s nape — that could also unveil new dimensions within him after anguish subsides.

Sensual, somber and soulful, “The Fountain” reached deep into examinations of personal exploration, mediation and inner peace to demand a response — an exquisite, graceful and awe-inspiring work of art.