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Artisan Entertainment
Official Site

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Producers: Eric Watson, Palmer West

Written by: Darren Aronofsky, (novel by Hubert Selby Jr.)

Cast: Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans, Christopher Macdonald, Keith David

Rating: ***** out of 5

"Dr. Everything’ll-Be-Alright will make everything go wrong.
Pills and thrills and daffodils will kill."—Prince

Yes, five stars. For a story that hits like a sack of hammers fell on you. For unflinching depictions of both the sexy cool of drug use and its ugly kid brother, drug addiction. For uniformly good acting (even by Jennifer Connelly, who heretofore I thought of as defined by her two obvious "talents"). And for a tour-de-force performance by Ellen Burstyn as Sara Goldfarb, an old, lonely woman whose simple desire to be noticed and liked sets her on a complicated path to destruction.

REQUIEM FOR A DREAM takes place from the summer to the winter of one year, a turning of seasons during which all of the principals come to grief. In summer, Harry Goldfarb (Leto) has the world by the tail. He and his drug-dealing partner Tyrone (Wayans) have a shoebox full of cash and are moving up the anti-corporate ladder; he and Marion Silver (Connelly) are deeply, almost painfully in love. Harry’s mother, Sara, who sits out her days watching television and eating, is recalled to life by a phone call announcing that she’s a winner and will appear on a TV show.

The movie is a cautionary tale. And like that Too Much Coffee Man™ cartoon that proclaims, "You can’t escape addiction. Choose yours wisely!" it’s the ineluctable truth. For these four characters, everything—what little they had and what they’d rather pathetically hoped for—just falls away, and quickly. I won’t tell you how, though if I did it probably wouldn’t spoil the movie. REQUIEM FOR A DREAM is so well done that relating the sequence of events won’t rob them of their powerful effect.

I cared about each of these characters. They are all unremarkable folks I could easily imagine knowing. And they all make such obvious, incremental mistakes, I can’t imagine not wanting to warn them. At the end, each character is curled up in the fetal position, and you may be, too, from the emotional assault of REQUIEM FOR A DREAM.

—Roxanne Bogucka, an Action Girl!

HYBRID Ratings Guide:

***** Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

**** It’s worth a full-price ticket.

*** It’s worth a matinee ticket.

** Wait for video rental.

* Check out the video from the library, if you must.

0 While I would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...

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