Saturday, December 17, 2011

Top Ranked Films of Darren Aronofsky

Darren Aronofsky
3 titles, 86th in points with 9,885

For my money, Aronofsky is the best young director currently working - well, ok, it's a toss up between him and Christopher Nolan, who’s also very good, but I think Aronofsky is more creative and has a more diverse body of work so far – he seems to go more out on a limb, such as The Fountain, than most modern directors. Aronofsky's films delve deeper into complex and real characters, while Nolan directs more action oriented, less personal films that nonetheless display superb technical skills, such as Inception, Memento, and The Prestige.

These are all the films of current American director Darren Aronofsky that made the top 1000 in our 2011 update of theTop Ranked 1000 Films on the Net, all polls. In fact, these are all of the films of Darren Aronofsky, so each of his titles is held in high esteem.

1. Black Swan (2010) #289
2. The Wrestler (2008) #294
3. Requiem for a Dream (2000) #323

Just out of the top 1000
4. Pi (1998) bw #1242
5. The Fountain (2006) #1253

I’ve reviewed all of his films so far, because I like them all and think each one should be in the top 1000. My order of preference places Requiem for a Dream at the top, hands down, a head above all his other films. I gave it a perfect 10 rating, one of just 39 of those I’ve given out after 820 reviews. The film is difficult to watch for a reason, and actually left me physically shaking. I had to go outside (in the dark) and walk around for about half an hour after watching it, so I think he achieved his goal.

After that one I have a hard time ranking them. I suppose Black Swan was the most intruiging after that, and had the best acting for an entire ensemble. Natalie Portman got a long overdue Oscar for her performance, which may have been a little over the top compared to her Oscar-nominated role in Closer.

The Fountain [photo above] was a complex, ambitious fantasy that delved into science fiction in its future sequences, mythology in its ‘past’ (which was a novel by Rachel Weisz’ character), and romance and medicine in it’s present day story, where Hugh Jackman played a research scientist trying to find a cure for his wife’s terminal illness.

The Wrestler showed us that Mickey Rourke can really act, as he gave his career best performance as an aging professiounal wrestler coming to grips with his own mortality and breaching the gulf with his estranged daughter. This film wasn’t like any other Aronofsky film so far, and was a complete surprise for me on several levels. Marisa Tomei’s performance was also Oscar worthy.

His first film Pi, was based on a student film in which a man seeking answers runs across a group of occult mathmaticians trying to find a numeric code hidden in the bible that could be a holy grail of science. This is Aronofsky’s least artistic film based on craftmanship, which is to be expected with what is basically a student film.

Aronofsky is certainly one to watch, steadily building a career that I’d have to say is ahead of either Scorsese’s or Spielberg’s after just five films. Go look up their first five sometime and compare them all.

See the full list of top ranked 300 directors here: Top Ranked Directors, 2011 Edition

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