* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: 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.
* AwardSnub: 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.
* CrowningMusicOfAwesome: Music/ClintMansell's score is nothing short of terrifyingly beautiful and stunningly emotional. Then again, one could expect no less from the award-winning [[Film/RequiemForADream frequent collaborator]] of director [[Creator/DarrenAronofsky Darren Aronofsky]]. Just listen to "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihF_aXi-Huk Death is the Road to Awe]]" if you still aren't convinced that Clint Mansell can make the world end.
* CultClassic: Every year it gets another set of fans.
* DarknessInducedAudienceApathy: 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 [[FridgeBrilliance has to learn the exact same Aesop Tommy does]].
* EpilepticTrees: It's an Epileptic ''Forest''.
* GrowingTheBeard: 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 (''Film/XMen'', ''Film/{{Swordfish}}'', ''Film/VanHelsing'', 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.
* SugarWiki/HeReallyCanAct: 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.
* HilariousInHindsight: In the earliest version of the film, Tommy and Izzy were supposed to be played by Creator/BradPitt and Creator/CateBlanchett, who dropped out of the cast when the studio refused to fund the earliest version. Just two years after ''TheFountain'' came out, they were cast in a ''different'' film in which they played [[Film/TheCuriousCaseOfBenjaminButton star-crossed lovers dealing with the complications of unusual movement through time]].
* IronWoobie: Izzy. Although she's dying, she remains as stoic and positive as ever.
* {{Narm}}: Some people found it absurd how [[spoiler: the flowers explode rapidly on Tomas's body when he drinks from the sticky white sap of the Tree of Life]].
* NightmareFuel: When Tomás [[spoiler:ingests]] the sap from the tree [[spoiler: and plants start sprouting from his body.]]
* SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped: 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.
* StrawmanHasAPoint: Grand Inquisitor Silecio, according to WordOfGod. "Our bodies are prisons for our souls. Our skin and blood, the iron bars of confinement. [[GoodNewsBadNews But fear not]]. All flesh decays. [[DownerEnding Death turns all to ash. And thus, death frees every soul]]."
* TearJerker:
** The entire film is very sad, but nothing is sadder than [[spoiler: 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.
* TheWoobie: Tommy desperately wants to find a way to cure his wife's illness but eventually has to realise that he can't.
* VindicatedByHistory: Even though this movie was largely ignored by the awards circuit (see AwardSnub 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 ''Film/TheWrestler'' and ''Film/BlackSwan'' helped make Darren Aronofsky an Academy darling once again, proving that ''Film/RequiemForADream'' 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.
** [=WatchMojo=] rated it #2 on their [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MA5o-BTWKqo Top 10 Underrated Movies]] list, behind only ''Film/TheLifeAquaticWithSteveZissou.''
* VisualEffectsOfAwesome: The effects were produced for a mere pittance, using microphotography (photos of tiny things, like oil droplets) rather than CGI. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qP5VWfv0hlk The result looks profoundly surreal, and stunningly beautiful.]]