The Fountain (2006)
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz, Ellen Burstyn
Budget: $35 million
Domestic Box Office Gross: $10.1 million
Darren Aronofsky is one of the most exciting American filmmakers working today, and the engimatic sci-fi love story The Fountain remains his oddest, most demanding effort. Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz play a husband and wife, and Weisz's character is dying of cancer. No, wait—Jackman is a conquistador and Weisz is his queen. No, scrap that, Jackman is an astronaut traveling to a distant star and Weisz is a tree?
Whether or not The Fountain is an empty puzzle is up to you, but it's impressive for many reasons. One, it's gorgeous. The cinematography drips liquid gold, and the score complements every perfect shot. If you can see this in anything resembling a theater, do it—you'll be floored.
Two, the movie is a wonder because Aronofsky was able to make it. It's bold, intimidating, and ultimately captivating during its run-time, and all without a dumb rom-com plot or gratuitous violence/nudity.