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Storylines of joyful 'Fountain' don't quite flow

Darren Aronofsky labors awfully hard to get across a pretty simple message in The Fountain. But his efforts are so ethereal and extreme, it's almost impossible to turn away.

Six years ago, Aronofsky got moviegoers' tongues wagging with Requiem for a Dream, a dirgelike descent into America's obsession with drugs, both legal and illegal, that unfolded like a slow-motion train wreck; the tragedy of the film was as inexorable as it was compelling. Audiences may react to The Fountain in the same way, though for completely different reasons: The emptiness left behind at the end of Requiem is replaced by a sense of joy and awe.

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The Fountain (Warner Bros.) Starring Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz. Written and directed by Darren Aronofsky. Rated PG-13. Time 96 minutes.



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