Hugh Jackman’s Best Movie
There is something about Hugh Jackman that makes him so appealing. This weekend, Real Steel hits theaters and while the trailer is a bit hokey, the reviews thus far have been pretty good. Entertainment Weekly gave it an A- ! They make it sound like a movie worth checking out. I have a feeling though that most people who go to see it will be attracted to it because of Hugh Jackman’s starring role.
However, Jackman is known for a much more iconic role. In 1999 he was cast as Wolverine in 2000’s X-men. He starred as the Marvel superhero in four films and had a cameo in another. He was surprisingly perfect for the role and brought the character to life brilliantly. But the X-men franchise is not his best work.
In 2006, Jackman got to work with two directors who have had a major impact on recent cinema. Christopher Nolan was one of them. Jackman starred as a rival magician to Christian Bale in The Prestige. It was a fantastic movie that had all the signatures of Nolan’s now iconic style. It is still not Jackman’s best movie. The other now prestigious director he worked with in 2006 was Darren Aronofsky. They worked together on The Fountain, and THAT is Hugh Jackman’s best movie.
Unfortunately, the film was a commercial flop and many critics found it to be too unfocused to actually amount to anything substantial. Were the critics right? No. The Fountain is a beautiful film that has some of the best performances I have ever seen in a film along with stunning visuals. Yes, the story does not seem well put together at first, however, upon repeat viewings The Fountain has an inspiring message that has changed the way I think about my own life. It is the only movie I can really say that about. The Fountain is the reason I love film, it is the reason I started this blog, and it is the reason I aspire to become a film critic. Hugh Jackman’s performance is a significant piece of my love for this movie and it truly is a shame that he nor this wonderful film were not recognized by the public as the ambitious sci-fi epic that it is.
For those of you unfamiliar with the film, The Fountain follows three plot threads with three seemingly different characters all played by Jackman. The main plot takes place in the present, where Jackman plays a doctor trying to find a cure for cancer. Another plot takes place hundreds of years in the future where Jackman plays a space traveler heading towards a dying star. The final plot is where he plays a Spanish conquistador in the 16th century discovering the secrets of the Mayan temples. I will not ruin how all these plots work together here as discovering the intricate map that Aronofsky created is probably the best part of the film. Other cast members include Rachel Weisz and Ellen Burstyn.
What really carries this film is how well Jackman plays all three parts. The three men are very different and for an actor to show this much range in just one film is incredible. The clip below should prove to you how much work Jackman put into this movie. It does not spoil anything.
Sold yet? The Fountain is a brilliant piece of cinema and I hope people remember it this weekend when they go to see Real Steel. I hope they remember it when they look up what else the director of last year’s best picture nominee Black Swan has directed. I hope you put it on your Netflix Queue right now. It is not a film for everyone, but it certainly deserves more attention than it got. If you are a fan of Hugh Jackman and want to see what he is fully capable of than I urge you to check out The Fountain, the best movie that no one saw in the career of a superstar.
photo credit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0414993/