Heroes of the Zeroes is Nick Rogers’ daily, alphabetical look back at the 365 best films of 2000 to 2009.
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.