New York Times - 10/06/2000
"...Ms.Connelly has never before done anything to prepare us for how good she is here....[The film's] full-on assault blazes through the central nervous system..."
Entertainment Weekly - 10/13/2000
"...One of the most disturbing movies ever made...yet it's impossible to take your eyes off it..." -- Rating: A
Total Film - 02/01/2001
"...Both the direction and performances are Oscar-deservingly outstanding....REQUIEM FOR A DREAM is so devastating that it resonates like the echo of a dying scream..." -- 4 out of 5 stars
Sight and Sound - 02/01/2001
"...Aronfsky's second film is even more visually jazzy than his first....The result is highly impressive: a swooping, gut-churning assault on the senses..."
Rolling Stone - 11/09/2000
"...Burstyn gives an award-caliber performance that is as raw and riveting as the movie that contains it..."
Los Angeles Times - 10/20/2000
"...Aronofsky is so compelling, so visionary a filmmaker, he keeps us riveted to his film..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 11/03/2000
"...Fascinating....Aronofsky brings a new urgency to the drug movie by trying to reproduce, through his subjective camera, how his characters feel, or want to feel, or fear to feel..."
For his follow-up to his darkly brilliant debut, PI, director Darren Aronofsky chose to adapt a tough and meaty piece of work: Hubert Selby's 1968 novel REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, a dark spiral into the abyss of barren fantasies doomed to extinction. However, in Aronofsky's frenetic, visionary, unique, and disturbing style lies the perfect setting for this story of four people whose intertwined lives are filled with eternally hopeful despair. This is a different sort of horror film. Harry Goldfarb (Jared Leto) and Marion Silver (Jennifer Connelly) are lovers in Brooklyn with dreams of setting up a small business and spending the rest of their lives in love--their version of the American dream. The two are also desperate heroin addicts, a compulsion that darkens their lives and leads Harry to repeatedly pawn his mother's television. His mother, Sara Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn), is addicted to television, which is why she keeps replacing the stolen set. One day she receives a call from her favorite show, the surreal TAPPY TIBBONS SHOW, and learns that she has been selected to appear on an upcoming broadcast. When she can't fit into her best red dress, her doctor prescribes diet pills (uppers), to which she swiftly and painfully becomes addicted. Harry's cohort, an intelligent hustler named Tyrone (Marlon Wayans), completes the foursome. With its unflinching dissection of addiction, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM is a psychologically disturbing, visually captivating depiction of lost hope. The last half hour of the film is among the most harrowing of any film ever made.
Based On A Novel |
Drug Addiction |
Essential Cinema |
Theatrical Release: October 6, 2000 (NY) October 20, 2000 (LA) October 27, 2000 (General Release)
According to Variety, Artisan originally appealed to the MPAA asking for an NC-17 rating on this film. That appeal was refused, the MPAA would not give the film a rating, so it was given unrated status, which greatly limited its theatrical release. According to Variety, the reason for the rating is a scene in which Jennifer Connelly's character has lesbian sex while a group of fully clothed men watch. However, other sources (such as New York magazine) attribute the rating to the film's devastating depiction of drug addiction.
Ellen Burstyn performed much of the movie in a 40-pound body suit.
Jared Leto shed a fifth of his normal body weight for his role in the film. After completing the intense film shoot, the actor shaved his head and checked himself into a monastery in Portugal.
Novelist Hubert Selby Jr. worked with Aronofsky to adapt his novel to the big screen.
REQUIEM FOR A DREAM contains more than 2,000 cuts.
Sean Gullette, who played the lead in Aronofsky's debut film, PI, has a minor role as a psychologist in this film
The haunting score for REQUIEM FOR A DREAM was composed by Clint Mansell, who also composed the music for director Darren Aronofsky's first movie, PI. Mansell is a member of the industrial music group Pop Will Eat Itself. The Online Film Critics Society named Mansell's work Best Original Score.
The American Film Institute named the film among the 10 best of the year. The jurors include David Ansen, Bill Duke, Michael Nesmith, Steven Zaillian, Saul Zaentz, and Anne Thompson.
Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly chose REQUIEM FOR A DREAM as the second best film of 2000; John Anderson of Newsday named it fifth best.
Rober Ebert (EBERT AND ROEPER AT THE MOVIES), Peter Travers of Rolling Stone, Elvis Mitchell of the New York Times, and Jack Matthews of the New York Daily News named REQUIEM FOR A DREAM one of the 10 best films of 2000.
Ellen Burstyn was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress for her outstanding performance. She was also voted Best Actress by the Las Vegas Film Critics Society, the Boston Society of Film Critics, the Florida Film Critics Circle, and the Online Film Critics Society. She also won a Career Achievement Award from the National Board of Review.
The Online Film Critics Society named Darren Aronofsky Best Director; it also awarded the Best Editing prize to Jay Rabinowitz.
Matt Zoller Seitz and Godfrey Cheshire of the New York Press named REQUIEM FOR A DREAM one of the 10 best films of 2000.
Ellen Burstyn received the Career Achievement award from Al Pacino at the National Board of Review movie awards in January 2001.