Movies You Need To See: Requiem for a Dream

By: Justin Dee

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop) –

• Released October 27, 2000
• Staring Jarred Leto, Ellen Burstyn, Jennifer Connelly, and Marlon Wayans
• Budget $4,500,000
• Gross Revenue $7,390,108

Drug addiction, depression, and despair plague the characters in Darren Aronofsky’s journey into the world of four addicts in his 2000 film Requiem for a Dream.

The film, which is based on a book of the same name, centers on Harry Goldfarb (Jarred Leto), his mother Sara Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn of Exorcist fame), Harry’s girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connelly) and Harry’s best friend Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) as they all spiral downward into the pits of addiction.

Aronofsky’s ability to show viewers the world inside drug use by exposing the viewer the world from the prospective of the addicts as they use may have never been seen before.

The actor’s performances are all stellar in this dark drama.  Ellen Burstyn was nominated for an Oscar in the  best  actress category for her horrifying and haunting  portrayal  of a women’s descent into madness. Leto and  Connelly do  wonderful jobs as well, and Marlon Wayans  displays wells  of untapped talent never seen before from  the well-known  funny man.

Roger Ebert wrote in his 2000 review; “What is fascinating about “Requiem for a Dream,” the  new film by Darren Aronofsky, is how well he portrays the  mental states of his addicts. When they use, a window  opens briefly into a world where everything is right. Then  it slides shut, and life reduces itself to a search for the  money and drugs to open it again. Nothing else is remotely as interesting.”

Steven Redd, a 22-year-old senior from Memphis, said,” Requiem for a Dream could easily be one of the most impressive and potentially important movies that I’ve ever seen.”

Redd went on to say that, ”While Requiem for a Dream does not attempt to excuse their addiction to drugs, it gets you so emotionally involved in their plight that the why and the how no longer matter”.

Although the film received an R rating, it was celebrated by critics, and even winning two Independent Spirit Awards, one for best lead actress and on for best cinematography.

Requiem for a Dream is currently available on DVD.

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