YMMV / The Fountain

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Did Izzy write her book as a way to get Tommy to accept her inevitable death? Or she may have guessed that he might read it after she has died and it would serve as a coping mechanism. It could also have been a coping mechanism for herself - as her counterpart in the story also accepts her inevitable death.
  • Award Snub: Apart from a Golden Globe nomination for Original Score, the film was largely ignored on the awards circuit, even in the areas of visual effects and art direction.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Clint Mansell's score is nothing short of terrifyingly beautiful and stunningly emotional. Then again, one could expect no less from the award-winning frequent collaborator of director Darren Aronofsky. Just listen to "Death is the Road to Awe" if you still aren't convinced that Clint Mansell can make the world end.
  • Cult Classic: Every year it gets another set of fans.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Part of the reason the film didn't do so well when it was released was mainly the fact that one of the protagonists is going to die and there's nothing that can save her. Which means that the audience has to learn the exact same Aesop Tommy does.
  • Epileptic Trees: It's an Epileptic Forest.
  • Growing the Beard: Hugh Jackman did so literally and figuratively with this film. Before The Fountain, he was still largely known for his roles in crowd-pleasing action movies (X-Men, Swordfish, Van Helsing, etc.), and few people had any reason to see him as anything more than a generic "bad boy" action hero. With his role as Tommy, he showed that he was willing to work on more experimental films that weren't guaranteed blockbusters, and he got to showcase his impressive acting range for one of the first times in his career.
  • He Really Can Act: Jackman, who plays three different characters in the film and does so amazingly well. In fact he spent hours with Aronofsky working on the physicality for each of the three roles. Tomas the id, with a very aggressive walk, coming straight from the pelvis. Tom the superego, incredibly emotional and light. Tommy the ego, very cerebral and driven, focused.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In the earliest version of the film, Tommy and Izzy were supposed to be played by Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, who dropped out of the cast when the studio refused to fund the earliest version. Just two years after The Fountain came out, they were cast in a different film in which they played star-crossed lovers dealing with the complications of unusual movement through time.
  • Iron Woobie: Izzy. Although she's dying, she remains as stoic and positive as ever.
  • Narm: Some people found it absurd how the flowers explode rapidly on Tomas's body when he drinks from the sticky white sap of the Tree of Life.
  • Nightmare Fuel: When Tomás ingests the sap from the tree and plants start sprouting from his body.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: In real life there is sometimes no fixing a problem or saving someone. A terminal illness will end in certain death and there is no way to stop that. You can however make the most of the time you have left - and you should spend as much of it as you can with the person. If you don't, you'll severely regret it and it'll be too late to do anything about it.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Grand Inquisitor Silecio, according to Word of God. "Our bodies are prisons for our souls. Our skin and blood, the iron bars of confinement. But fear not. All flesh decays. Death turns all to ash. And thus, death frees every soul."
  • Tear Jerker:
    • The entire film is very sad, but nothing is sadder than Tommy discovering that Izzy has died during the night. He was too busy with his research to notice - and then he realises that he wasted the time he should have been spending with her. Luckily he gets a second chance.
    • Izzy trying to take a bath is a subtle one. Something so simple that she can't do without help because the illness is affecting her that much.
  • The Woobie: Tommy desperately wants to find a way to cure his wife's illness but eventually has to realise that he can't.
  • Vindicated by History: Even though this movie was largely ignored by the awards circuit (see Award Snub above), audiences in more recent years have been a bit more willing to at least recognize its ambitions, largely because the one-two punch of The Wrestler and Black Swan helped make Darren Aronofsky an Academy darling once again, proving that Requiem for a Dream wasn't a fluke. It's still considered one of his weaker films, mind, but it's at least regarded as a crucial entry in the filmography of one of the more notable directors in the business today.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The effects were produced for a mere pittance, using microphotography (photos of tiny things, like oil droplets) rather than CGI. The result looks profoundly surreal, and stunningly beautiful.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/TheFountain