Celebrating Great Films

Friday, February 09, 2007

Requiem for a Dream

Requiem for a Dream#58 at time of writing.

This film made a massive impact on me. It haunted me for days afterwards. It's about four likeable, ambitious people whose addictions eventually get the better of them and ruin their lives. Gradually. Insidiously. Tragically. Brutally.

I was blown away by the pace and style of this film - and left stunned by its forceful message. I find myself craving to watch it again.

Darren Aronofsky's previous film, Pi, was just as menacing and mysterious, but more of a fantasy, a fairytale.

Requiem for a Dream is no fairytale.

Ellen Burstyn in particular deserved an Oscar for her role as elderly telly addict Sara Goldfarb, but unfortunately she lost out to Julia Roberts as Erin Brockovich.

During Burstyn's impassioned monologue about how it feels to be old, the cinematographer Matthew Libatique accidentally let the camera drift off-target. When the director called "cut" and confronted him about it, he realized the reason Libatique had let the camera drift was because he had been crying during the take and fogged up the camera's eyepiece. That's how sad and brilliant this film is.


  1. Anonymous4:48 am

    I thought watching all 250 IMDB films was worth my time too at one point. It's when you figure out who the constituency is that you start losing faith. Who really decides what's on the list? It's the IMDB staff; there are films that have tons of votes and really high ratings, above 8 sometimes, that get snubbed (I can't name any off the top of my head, but they're there!). When movies like Batman Begins rank above Annie Hall, I think it's about time to call it quits and find some other list. May I suggest Rotten Tomatoes?

  2. Anonymous12:42 am

    "May I suggest Rotten Tomatoes?"

    Where Spy Kids is ranked higher than The Departed? No thanks.