Requiem for a Dream (2000) - Directed by Darren Aronofsky
This film is a human-character-study. Darren Aronofsky's, crazy, rollercoaster, drug-induced Requiem for a Dream (2000). Aronofsky gives that 1980s feel to the viewer throughout the film. It has a fantastic calling to old-Hollywood-style film-making. The best component to the film is the acting.
Ellen Burstyn is Sara Goldfarb, a retired couch-potato, who is addicted to a bad self-help TV show that cons her into believing she can lose weight if she uses certain drugs, Pharmaceuticals that eventually destroy her mind and create a horrible addiction. Meanwhile, her dead-beat son, Harry (Jared Leto), comes up with the brilliantly dumb idea of creating a haven for himself, his friend, Tyrone (Marlan Wayans) and Harry's girlfriend, Marion (Jennifer Connelly), by getting into the street-drug-business. Unfortunately, he and his friends are all now junkies and things don't go so well as planned.
This film is not for the squeamish. It involves many horrible aspects of life, the terrible things humans are capable of doing to themselves and the consequences of such poor decisions. It does manage to pull at the heart-strings and makes you feel very sorry for these people. I won't say anymore, but there is a reason why Ellen Burstyn was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar that year. The directing, camera-work and editing is fantastic and quite fitting for the drug-incited delusions seen in the film. The film is rated R, but could have gone even further. Jennifer Connelly's performance is staggeringly good. She definitely leaves her comfort zone for this film. For myself, this film shocked, brought out many emotions and contained a life-lesson we should all pay attention to.
9.0 (A- MyGrade) = 9 IMDB
Reviewed by devinbrown-1909110 / 10
This movie is the most disgustingly beautiful and horrifying movie.
Reviewed by bkoganbing8 / 10
No Future At All
Requiem For A Dream is one of the most depressing films I've ever seen in my life. These poor people from two generations are a lot like Anthony Quinn in Requiem For A Heavyweight. As a boxer Quinn in that film saw his career at an end and faced a very unpromising future. These people have no future at all.
I certainly recognized the Coney Island/Brighton Beach area of Brooklyn, an area of projects and an amusement area that has seen better days. Like Atlantic City, some in Coney Island eventually see casino gambling as the gimmick for a rebirth. If you see Requiem For A Dream, imagine it in that kind of Las Vegas type setting.
At one time Brighton Beach was a template for a working class Jewish paradise of sort with families housed in apartments that partially built with the backing of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. Back when I was doing senior citizens crime claims at New York State Crime Victims Board, I can't tell you the number of claims from men and women who listed a small ILGWU pension as part of their income from that area. Such a woman is Ellyn Burstyn playing Sara Goldfarb.
Things haven't gone right for her. As the neighborhood decayed, so did her life and family. Her one son Jared Leto, a promising kid at one time is now a hopeless addict with an addict girlfriend in Jennifer Connelly and an addict best friend in Marlon Wayans.
I've known a few junkies in my time also. After a while they only have one thing on their mind, their particular addiction of choice and how to service it. Even if they want to rise in the dope trade business, they haven't got a head for business any longer.
Which in a nutshell is the position of Leto and Wayans with Connelly in support figuring her own habit can be taken care of by following their lead. Of course its disaster all around.
As for Ellyn Burstyn she gained Requiem For A Dream's only Academy Award recognition with a nomination for Best Actress. She's not just clueless about her son, she's caught up in her own chemical dependency. She dreams of her 10 minutes of fame on some daytime quiz show and gets herself nicely hooked on diet pills. Unlike her son, she does have some memories of better days and talks about them with her peers on the benches outside the apartments.
I recognized a lot of the Brighton Beach/Coney Island area of Brooklyn where this was all shot on location. Requiem For A Dream is a sad film about sad people, definitely one to bring you down from any kind of high you might be on.