From least favorite to favorite.
5. ‘The Fountain’ – A major Hollywood film that had lofty ambitions: rarely an idea that gets supported or executed well. This barely-comprehensible story wants to say something like the search for the fountain of youth has been a fool’s errand all throughout time, but who cares?
4. ‘Pi’ – This was Aronofsky’s true starting point. It was a clever story about obsession, filmed with very little money or resources. As far as entertainment value, it might be a little lacking, but it deserves to be seen at least once.
3. ‘Requiem For A Dream’ – Here is where Aronofsky became a critical darling. It takes multiple stories with the some differences but that are tied together by showing the effects of drug use. Hint: this is rather grim.
2. ‘Black Swan’ – Another look at obsession mixed with some good old fashioned mental illness. This psychological thriller unravels slowly until we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of crazy-town. Natalie Portman deserved all of the praise that was heaped upon her performance.
1. ‘The Wrestler’ – Speaking of performances, Mickey Rourke (how many comebacks has this guy had?!) turns in a fine one here, showing the less-than glamorous side of professional wrestling. Drama comes from not only his aging in the ring, but also a less than ideal family/love life. This was, by far, Aronofsky’s most emotionally-involving work.
‘Black Swan’ is an appropriately theatrical slow-burning suspense that explodes into chaos as the plot progresses. Natalie Portman’s performance is a career-best.
‘Requiem For A Dream’
‘Requiem For A Dream’ is an indie film that has a deceptively large audience. It might be a bit heavy-handed and overrated, but it is powerful nonetheless and Ellen Burstyn’s performance is worth the price of the rental/purchase.
If you like no-budget thinkers that look like student films and attempt to tackle large, unanswerable questions, then ‘Pi’ will be your jam. It is also where we first see Aronofsky’s fascination with obsession that leads to insanity. This is where Aronofsky got his start and it deserves a view.