Darren Aronofsky’s Movies, Ranked From Least To Most Traumatic – CNET – ApparelGeek

Darren Aronofskyit is The whale just premiered with the biggest debut for an arthouse film in 2022. The film, starring Brendan Fraser in the performance of his career, follows a reclusive, depressed and overweight English teacher trying to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter.

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Famous for his direct and often confrontational approach to cinema, Aronofsky is one of the most celebrated, yet polarizing, directors in the film industry. His films are one of a kind, providing cinematic experiences that audiences won’t soon forget. And while they’re all visually arresting and emotionally shocking, some are undeniably more traumatic than others.

8/8 ‘The Fountain’ (2006)

Aronofsky teamed up with his then Oscar-winning partner Rachel Weiszfor 2006 Surreal Fantasy Fountain. Weisz co-stars with the Oscar nominee Hugh Jackman in a story about one man’s pursuit to cheat fate. The film mixes elements of fantasy, science fiction, and historical fiction to create what is, in many ways, Aronofsky’s most experimental film.

Fountain received mixed reviews from critics and was a box office bomb. However, it’s an underrated masterpiece on its way to becoming a cult classic. As Aronofsky’s most romantic effort, Fountain doesn’t have the same straightforward approach as some of the director’s most notorious projects. The film is heavily preoccupied with spirituality, juggling heavy metaphysical concepts that might make it hard to follow. However, it is far from a traumatic experience.

7/8 ‘Noah’ (2014)

Following Black Swan‘s success, Aronofsky had the industry in a bottleneck. His next effort, the big-budget fantasy Noah, was a surprising turning point for a director who has always favored small productions. With the Oscar winners Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly, Noah is an ambitious retelling of the classic biblical tale of the flood.

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Visually stunning and featuring many of the director’s common themes, Noah is as close as Aronofsky can get to a blockbuster. The film attempts to be a classic epic in the vein of The ten Commandmentsbut Aronofsky’s passion – or obsession, as some might call it – for horror and existentialism creeps into the story. Noah features large-scale battles in the service of a timeless story, but loses the intimacy and sense of dread that makes Aronofsky’s other films so heartbreaking.

6/8 ‘Pi’ (1998)

Aronofsky’s feature debut is also his most underrated effort. Pi follows a mathematician obsessed with finding a number that apparently lies within the universal patterns of nature. Pi deals with several common themes found in Aronofsky’s impressive filmography, including obsession and descent into paranoia and chaos in the seemingly hopeless pursuit of an unattainable goal.

Shot in high contrast black and white reversal film, Pi is visually mesmerizing if not narratively cohesive – a burden shared by many of Aranofsky’s films. The protagonists’ ravings become increasingly intense as the plot unfolds, culminating in a cathartic yet satisfying conclusion that stands as one of Aronofsky’s few “happy” endings. Pi is all about thrilling and intense driving, and while it will certainly leave an impression, it won’t be particularly shocking.

5/8 “The Whale” (2022)

Brendan Fraser is at his best in The whale. Co-star opposite Sadie sink, Hong Chauand Samantha Morton, Fraser is the best part of the film – the only good part, some would say. In effect, The whale is among the most controversial films of 2022, for good reason.

Aronofsky does his best to give the story the empathy it desperately needs. However, his notoriously relentless style may not be the best choice for such a delicate subject. The whale may seem like an exercise in cruelty – many will find Charlie’s binge eating scene particularly difficult to watch. However, Fraser’s tender and deeply human performance is more than enough to balance out Aronofsky’s provocative impulses, resulting in an intense yet worthwhile cinematic experience.

4/8 “Black Swan” (2010)

Natalie Portman won his Oscar for Aronofsky’s psychological horror film Black Swan. The film, co-starred Mila Kunis, Vincent Casseland Barbara Hershey follows Nina, a wise ballerina who explores her limits as she is overwhelmed with the lead role in a new production of Swan Lake.

Films about artists succumbing to their obsessions are a popular trend in Hollywood. However, Black Swan stands out for its intense and flexible nature, blending elements of body horror and erotic thriller to create a complete story. As Nina’s reality warps and her boundaries blur, the film delves into the same tumultuous yet seductive chaos she embraces to become the Black Swan. With unforgettable footage and an unparalleled performance by Portman, Black Swan is a cinematic triumph that audiences won’t soon forget.

3/8 ‘The Wrestler’ (2008)

Mikey Rourkereturned in 2008 with Aronofsky’s The wrestler. The film follows an aging professional wrestler who attempts to mend his broken relationship with his daughter and begin a romance with a stripper as he clings to the former glory of his prime. Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood co-starred.

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Arguably Aronofsky’s most likeable film, The wrestler is a harrowing exploration of life and love, heightened by Rourke’s career-best work. Hard to sit but ultimately rewarding, The wrestler might be the director’s best film. The final scene, which features some of the most heartbreaking moments ever captured on film, will leave a deep mark on audiences, many of whom may not have forgotten, fourteen years after the film’s premiere.

2/8 ‘Mother!’ (2017)

Image via Paramount Pictures

2017 Mother! is Aronofsky at his most unbridled. With the Oscar winners Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardemthe film is a highly allegorical story about a wife and her husband who receive increasingly hostile visitors to their isolated home.

Elevated by an extremely engaged and vulnerable performance from Lawrence, Mother! is Aronofsky’s most confusing and extreme film. The bonkers third act, which features everything from a mob devouring a baby to a bloodied Lawrence committing mass murder, is one for the ages. Not everyone will agree with the deranged tone of the film, but one thing is certain: no one will forget it.

1/8 “Requiem for a Dream” (2000)

Aronofsky rose to fame with Requiem for a dreamthe story of four individuals whose lives descend into disarray and suffering because of their drug addiction. By Ellen Burstyn received an Oscar nomination for his work in the film, which stars Jennifer Connelly, Jared Letoand Marlon Wayan.

It wouldn’t be an understatement to say Requiem for a Dream features the most disturbing ending to a movie. Aronofsky is ruthless when portraying his character’s pain and destruction, creating one of the most uncomfortable and raw depictions of addiction. Requiem for a Dream cemented Aronofsky as one of cinema’s great provocateurs and ensured audiences would never listen to “Lux Aeterna” without wanting to assume the fetal position.

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Darren Aronofsky’s Movies, Ranked From Least To Most Traumatic – CNET – ApparelGeek