Director Darren Aronofsky has been trying to make this movie for many years, and I’m glad he’s finally succeeded. Hugh Jackman plays a Spanish conquistador in search of the Fountain of Youth, a modern-day scientist trying to find a cure for his wife’s (Rachel Weisz) cancer and a New Age spaceman in this spiraling wonder of a movie. The themes of universal love and the quest for eternal life are explored in a bold manner that might leave many moviegoers scratching their heads. In order to really enjoy this film, you have to go with it and trust the director’s instincts. It definitely requires more viewing patience than, say, Happy Feet, but it pays great dividends. It is a movie experience that is honestly like no other. Nothing is concrete, and its religious themes (Genesis and the Tree of Life play a big part) aren’t rooted in any one particular theology. Jackman’s performance is worthy of an Oscar nomination but, alas, I think this movie will alienate more than enthrall viewers, and that’s a damn shame. One of the best of 2006.