Darren Aronofsky has always been one of my favorite directors and since his upcoming thriller Mother! is coming out, I decided to talk about his brilliant body of work, which consists in one film better than the other. From challenging spectators to making them feel incredibly moved, Darren Aronofsky’s films are always compared to a “roller coaster ride” by the director, which couldn’t be more true. Here is my list of favorite and extremely favorite movies from the director!
06. Pi (1998)
How to start talking about Pi? The debut film of Darren Aronofsky is an experimental dark thriller about a genius in math who is about to discover the secret behind the equation of the stock market. As he gets closer to finding the secret, Wall Street men start to follow him as his mind starts playing tricks on him, defying what’s reality and imagination. Being a theme that would end up in almost every single film from Aronofsky’s career, Pi is a beautiful and creative debut that belongs to the cult following genre.
05. Noah (2014)
Noah is by far Darren Aronofsky’s most misunderstood film. I think this happened because the movie was sold as a blockbuster when the director, in fact, wanted to do something more artistic and personal with a blockbuster movie budget – something he could do after the huge success of Black Swan. One way or the other, Noah is still a beautiful movie about Noah’s Ark tale with a Darren Aronofsky touch by having characters that go through identity’s crisis and catharsis in its interesting and strange story. This is also an artistic version of Aronofsky own interpretation of the tale, which made the Vatican consider the film “a lost opportunity for ignoring God”. People may not like it, but I really do!
04. The Wrestler (2008)
People consider The Wrestler Darren Aronofsky’s most approachable movie. That happens because this is the most realistic and raw feature from the director, which ended up getting two Oscar nominations in 2009. One way or another, The Wrestler can be incredibly beautiful by portraying an aged wrestler who gave up on his marriage, his daughter and his own life to concentrate on his career as a wrestler. When he has a heart attack, he sees himself not being able to fight anymore, forcing him to change his life. But how to change his life when fighting is his actual life? Aronofsky shows this in a beautiful and non-melodramatic way and an outstanding performance by Mickey Rourke, Evan Rachel Wood, and Marisa Tomei.
03. The Foutain (2006)
If I had to choose only one movie to define Darren Aronofsky’s cinema, it would be The Fountain. Being his most ambitious film, The Fountain is a dark and surrealistic tale that bounds pass, present, and future in a mix of fantasy and reality, history and religion, life and death, and the list goes on. The film talks about the search of men who tries to find immortality, which will only happen once the Tree of Life is found. With that, the movie tells three different stories that are intertwined: a knight in the 16th Century who is sent to find this tree, a doctor in the present day who is trying to find the cure for cancer in a rare tree to save his wife and a man who is listening to a story in a moving star, resulting in a beautiful and controversial ending.
02. Black Swan (2010)
People who don’t like Black Swan, I’m sorry, but you have no idea what cinema is about. I’ve watched this movie so many times and paid so much attention to how Aronofsky tells this story through images that it’s impossible to deny that the film grammar of this movie is pure cinema. What the director does with the mirrors, the color palette of the scenarios, the “double” personified in Mila Kunis, the incestuous relationship with the mother and how the story of the Black Swan’s play and the story of the film come together, is simply fascinating to watch, resulting in one of my favorites Darren Aronofsky films, and probably one of my favourites movies ever. If you haven’t watched Black Swan yet, the only question I have for you is: what are you doing with your life?
01. Requiem For A Dream (2000)
Requiem For A Dream is already a classic that holds significant importance in film history. Being one of the heaviest films I have ever seen, the first time I watched this movie I was about 12 years old and cried during the entire credits. Because that’s exactly what this film makes you feel, like you just went through everything that these characters went through, which are horrible, horrible situations. More than that, Requiem For a Dream is famous for its original and fast-pacing editing, where Aronofsky created several tricks that keep inspiring movies until today! Not mentioning the outstanding performances of Jared Leto, Ellen Burstyn, and Jennifer Connelly.
What about you? What are your favorite Darren Aronofsky’s movies?