Darren Aronofsky (born February 12, 1969) is an American filmmaker and screenwriter. His films are noted for their surreal, melodramatic, and often disturbing elements, usually based in psychological horror and drama. Aronofsky attended Harvard University, where he studied film and social anthropology, and the American Film Institute where he studied directing. He won several film awards after completing his senior thesis film, Supermarket Sweep, which went on to become a National Student Academy Award finalist. Aronofsky’s feature debut, the surrealist psychological thriller Pi, was shot in November 1997. The low-budget, $60,000 production, starring Sean Gullette, was sold to Artisan Entertainment for $1 million, and grossed over $3 million; Aronofsky won the Directing Award at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival and an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay.
Aronofsky’s followup, the psychological drama Requiem for a Dream (2000), with Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, and Marlon Wayans; was based on the novel of the same name by Hubert Selby, Jr. The film garnered strong reviews and received an Academy Award nomination for Burstyn’s performance. The film also generated considerable controversy due to the graphic nature of several scenes, and was eventually released unrated. After writing the World War II horror film Below (2002), with Bruce Greenwood, Olivia Williams, Matthew Davis, Holt McCallany, Scott Foley, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Flemyng, and Dexter Fletche; Aronofsky began production on his third film, the romantic fantasy sci-fi drama The Fountain (2006), with Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz. The film received mixed reviews and performed poorly at the box-office, but has since garnered a cult following.
His fourth film, the sports drama The Wrestler (2008), with Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, and Evan Rachel Wood; was released to critical acclaim, with Rourke and Tomei receiving Academy Award nominations. He was an executive producer on David O. Russell‘s The Fighter (2010), with Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, and Melissa Leo; and his fifth feature film, the psychological horror film Black Swan (2010), with Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey, and Winona Ryder; received further critical acclaim and many accolades, being nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director; Portman won Best Actress for her performance in the film. Aronofsky also received nominations for Best Director at the Golden Globes, and a Directors Guild of America Award nomination for his work on Black Swan. Aronofsky’s sixth film, the biblically inspired epic Noah (2014), with Russell Crowe, Connelly, Emma Watson, Ray Winstone, Logan Lerman, Douglas Booth, and Anthony Hopkins; was his first film to open at No.1 at box office. His seventh film, the psychological horror Mother! (2017), with Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer, Domhnall Gleeson, Brian Gleeson, and Kristen Wiig; sparked controversy upon release due to its biblical allegories and depiction of violence, and polarized audiences.
Each review will be linked to the title below.
(*seen originally in theaters)
(**seen rereleased in theaters)
- Supermarket Sweep (1991) – short
- Fortune Cookie (1991) – short
- Protozoa (1993) – short
- No Time (1994) – short
- Pi (1998)
- Requiem for a Dream (2000)
- The Underneath (2002) – directed by David Twohy – co-writer, producer
- The Fountain (2006)
- The Wrestler (2008)*
- Black Swan (2010)*
- The Fighter (2010) – directed by David O. Russell – executive producer
- Noah (2014)
- Mother! (2017)*