Why did The Fountain fail? Aronofsky blames a single bad review

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Jan 14, 2013, 2:52 PM EST

Filmmaking is always a little hit-or-miss. Director Darren Aronofsky (Pi, Black Swan) has made some awesome flicks over the years—but many disagree about whether the sci-fi epic The Fountain should be counted among them. The flick bombed at the box office and befuddled many reviewers. So what does Aronofsky blame for the film's failures?

Essentially, one negative review.

In an interview with The Playlist, Aronofsky said Variety's harsh review sent the whole media response to the film into a "tailspin." Written by critic Leslie Felperin, the review said the film "shows onscreen all the wear and tear of a personal project that has suffered from production fits and starts and reportedly has been cut down from a longer running time to a still tedious and repetitious hour and a half." Felperin also takes aim at Aronofsky's previous work in other sections of the review, calling it "overpraised" and "dated."


Though The Fountain's been out since 2006, the review seems to still haunt Aronofsky, who had this to say about Felperin's critique of the film:

"Not only did she attack the film, she attacked me. People in social media attack you for everything you've done, that happens all the time. But a critic should be focused on what's at hand, not attack someone's career and say their past films are overrated and say they have no ability. She clearly had an issue with me as a person and what I was putting out there as my stories. So that bothered me. And so probably if I ever met her, it wouldn't be a good day."
The Fountain is definitely a love-it-or-hate-it effort, and one well-placed opinion could potentially sway the masses. But is the film actually misunderstood, or just not very good?

What do you think?

(Via The Playlist)