The Fountain is the latest from the sometimes brilliant, often frustrating, cult director Darren Aronofsky, whose frenetic visual style can be both inspired and taxing. His two previous films, Pi (1998) and Requiem for a Dream (2000), are pretty much love 'em or hate 'em, and his latest, a meditation on man's obsessive quest for eternal life throughout history, is no different.

Hugh Jackman and Aronofsky's real-life wife, Rachel Weisz, give strong performances as the central characters in a love affair spanning three moments in time – past, present, and future – in which Jackman races to find the source of eternal life to save the life of his love.

The first part concerns a Spanish conquistador dispatched to the Mayan jungle to find the Tree of Life (of Eden mythology) for his queen. The second follows an obsessive medical researcher trying to find a cure for cancer before his afflicted wife expires. The third, and most opaque scenario, takes place in an imagined future/alternate plane of existence that brings to mind the final act of Stanley Kubrick's 2001 .

In our age of Botox and our nation's obsession with youth culture, a film about our quest for immortality is certainly a timely one. However, at times, The Fountain , with its endless jumping back and forth between narratives and replaying of the same scenes, wears thin.

The film feels caught in the middle somewhere, not quite sure what it wants to be. The future scenes suggest the philosophical meditation on consciousness of 2001 , while the present day scenes are a much more straightforward narrative about man's obsessive denial of death.

Unfortunately, we never spend enough time with either timeframe for these ideas to take form cohesively. What we're left with is a kind of Cliff Notes on Buddhism, rather than the transcendent, mind-blowing experience of 2001 .

Nevertheless, the film is visually stunning and plays with some interesting ideas (sadly, a noteworthy feat). At 96 minutes, I was just left wanting more and less at the same time.

Extras: gallery of six featurettes exploring the movie's various periods and settings and theatrical trailer.

Grade: B