Requiem for a Dream

Requiem for a Dream

4.6 65
Director: Darren Aronofsky

Cast: Darren Aronofsky, Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly


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Based on the novel by Hubert Selby Jr., this gritty drama concerns four people trapped by their addictions. Harry (Jared Leto), and his best friend Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) are impoverished heroin addicts living in Coney Island, NY, while Harry's girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connelly) is a fellow addict trying to distance herself from her wealthy father. Harry dreams of…  See more details below


Based on the novel by Hubert Selby Jr., this gritty drama concerns four people trapped by their addictions. Harry (Jared Leto), and his best friend Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) are impoverished heroin addicts living in Coney Island, NY, while Harry's girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connelly) is a fellow addict trying to distance herself from her wealthy father. Harry dreams of scoring a pound of smack, from which he could make enough money to open a clothing boutique with Marion, but so far he and his friends can barely scrape by supporting their own habits. Meanwhile, Harry's mother Sara (Ellen Burstyn), who spends her days watching television, is told she has the opportunity to appear on her favorite game show; wanting to lose enough weight to fit into her favorite red dress, she visits a sleazy doctor who gives her a prescription for amphetamines. Soon Sara has a drug habit of her own that is spiraling out of control. Requiem for a Dream was directed by Darren Aronofsky, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Selby; it was Aronofsky's second feature, following his acclaimed independent film Pi.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
Drug addiction is the catalyst for some mind-altering cinematic pyrotechnics in 2000's Requiem for a Dream, a cautionary tale from director Darren Aronofsky. Based on the novel by Hubert Selby Jr., Requiem follows a young ne'er-do-well (Jared Leto), his upscale girlfriend (Jennifer Connelly), and his widowed mother (Ellen Burstyn) as they all learn the hard way about the dangers of substance abuse. There's a glimpse or two of the drug culture in Requiem, but for the most part the film probes internal landscapes. Those who've seen Aronofsky's debut film, Pi, will know that this is his strong suit, and he uses a textbook-filling array of cinematic devices to bring the addicts' hallucinatory experiences to the screen. This all builds steadily into a relentless barrage of manic intercutting that leaves some viewers exhilarated, others unnerved. While Leto and Connelly do very well in projecting a romantic chemistry that's smashed by the competing chemistry of addiction, Burstyn's Oscar-nominated performance is simply startling. Her diet-pill-induced downward slide is nothing short of horrific, as she transforms from a meek, mild-mannered, slightly overweight infomercial addict into an emaciated, deranged speed freak. Requiem starts out dark and only gets darker; it's not for the faint of heart. The Artisan DVD includes audio commentary by director Aronofsky, a making-of documentary, deleted scenes, and interviews with Burstyn and Selby.
All Movie Guide - Matthew Tobey
On the surface, Requiem for a Dream appears to be the next in a long line of junkie movies, and even on that level, it's one of the most visceral depictions of addiction ever put on film. But at its core, Darren Aranofsky's sophomore effort is a tragic fable, the story of four characters who haven't got the will to be happy with what they have. But sympathy isn't something Aranofsky ever asks his audience to feel for the four hopeless addicts. Rather, he forcefully imposes the characters and their stories on the audience with the intent of leaving an impression. And leave an impression he does. One walks away from the film with an indelible mark on the psyche that isn't necessarily pleasant but certainly testifies to the realism and intensity of the film. As if the abilities of Aranofsky aren't enough, the film's cast shines in some of the most underrated performances of 2000. Jennifer Connelly delivers, as expected, in a role that most wouldn't have the guts to even consider. Jared Leto proves himself to be more than just a pretty face and capable of taking on leading-man roles. Marlon Wayans, easily the biggest surprise, is incredible, superbly cast against type and proving himself to be highly skilled as a dramatic performer. But it is Ellen Burstyn who deserves the most acclaim. In what may be her finest performance to date, Burstyn effortlessly portrays her character's decline at the hands of loneliness, false hope, and prescription medication. Nominated, but ultimately beat out, Burstyn's performance is worthy of a thousand Oscars.
Entertainment Weekly
Requiem for a Dream may be the first movie to fully capture the way that drugs dislocate us from ourselves. Owen Gleiberman

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Commentary by director Darren Aronofsky; Commentary by director of photography Matthew Libatique; "The Making of Reqiuem for a Dream" documentary; Deleted scenes with optional director commentary; Memories, dreams and addictions: Ellen Burstyn interviews Hubert Selby Jr.; Theatrical trailers and TV spots

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ellen Burstyn Sara Goldfarb
Jared Leto Harry Goldfarb
Jennifer Connelly Marion Silver
Marlon Wayans Tyrone C. Love
Christopher McDonald Tappy tibbons
Louise Lasser Ada
Keith David Little John
Sean Gullette Arnold The Shrink
Ajay Naidu Mailman
Samia Shoaib Nurse Mall
Peter Howard Sal the Geep

Technical Credits
Darren Aronofsky Director,Screenwriter
Ben Barenholtz Executive Producer
James Chinlund Production Designer
Beau Flynn Executive Producer
Scott Franklin Co-producer
Matthew J. Libatique Cinematographer
Clint Mansell Score Composer
Jay Rabinowitz Editor
Hubert Selby Screenwriter
Laura Jean Shannon Costumes/Costume Designer
Stefan Simchowitz Executive Producer
Randy Simon Co-producer
Jonah Smith Co-producer
Scott Vogel Co-producer
Eric Watson Producer
Nick Wechsler Executive Producer
Palmer West Cinematographer

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Requiem for a Dream 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 64 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one movie that stuck in my head for days! The images of the phases of drug addiction are not only intense and realistic but disturbing in a fascinating way. If I ever thought of using hard core drugs, this movie changed my mind.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I personally enjoy darker films, but this movie was without a doubt the most intense movie that ive ever seen.
Nyssa_B More than 1 year ago
'Requiem for a Dream' is a sobering look at the life of drug addicts, both young and old. The story follows the lives of Sara Goldfarb, her son Harry, his girlfriend, and his best friend. Sara is a lonely widow living in near poverty in Coney Island. Her first addiction is to television and then to eating. She remains blissfully unaware of her son's heroin addiction, even though he steals her TV regularly and pawns it for drug money. Sara is given what seems to be a chance at happiness when one of her favourite TV shows offers her a spot on an upcoming episode. She never makes it on TV and ruins her life in the pursuit of her dreams of being thin and being able to wear her red dress on television. While Sara is breaking down, Harry and his friends are trying to feed their heroin habits by dealing in the drug themselves. Everything seems to be going fine until a few mistakes are made and then they have to face the harsh realities of the situation.

One thing I really like about this film that keeps bringing me back to it is the authenticity of the emotions in the story. This is a movie that will make you feel something, even if the feelings aren't always good. When I first saw 'Requiem,' I left the theatre feeling emotionally drained. It's the kind of movie that gives those willing to watch it raw emotion and experience without the facade of false hope and happiness. The cinematography is another key part of the success in the storytelling. It's a visually appealing movie that tries to bring the viewer into the harrowing world of heroin addiction through images and sound.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Requiem For a Dream is simply one of the best movies that I have ever seen. It has an incredibly strong message and delivers it in such a way that touches everyone who sees it. I would recommend this movie to anyone who is looking for anything different and compelling in their cinematic experience.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was beautiful. I loved it, but the exprience was much to painful to watch again. It gave me a new outlook on life and changed the way i perceive those around me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This has to be one of the best movies ever written!!! :) Not only did it contain raw and dark scenes, but the movie also consisted of a beautiful love story. What more can you ask for!!! It can turn around anyones life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The movie was incredible...the interview with Selby by Burstyn as an extra gives us a real look at Selby's genius. He is a valuable elder in our society.
Guest More than 1 year ago
exelent movie, very eye opening, the scenes with Harry's mother were amazing! there were some scenes that were really hard to watch but over all incredible movie
Guest More than 1 year ago
"Requiem" is a simple 'any-addicts' story that comes alive through superb acting, suck-you-in cinemetography/directing and a spellbinding realism that leaves you mourning the characters' fates. This movie will gobble you whole, shake you up, and spit you out. It left me with my head spinning. Not so much a heartbreaking movie as a thought inspiring one. A horrifying and bald essay on addiction. Awesome flick.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There is so much to say about this movie... it is schocking, beautiful and brilliant. It definitely will not appeal to everyone, and i dont recommend it for fans of mindless action movies. I also don't recommend watching this movie out of sheer curiosity, because one of your buddies told you it was schocking and vile and dirty (which it is). Requiem is a true piece of art, sure to change your life after seeing it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is, arguably, one of the best movies ever made (yes, I know it's a very tired saying, but I'm serious). As to the people who gave it one star, they are too impatient, and they must watch the movie again. Ellen Burstyn gave a performance above and beyond any award she could possibly have received. This is just one of those movies that MUST be seen and appreciated.
Guest More than 1 year ago
"Requiem for a Dream" is one of the most brilliant movies ever made. I felt completely different after watching. It made a huge impact in me. I watched it multiple times before giving it back to my friend who let me borrow it. This movie is a must see. You will not regret it.
knordan1985 More than 1 year ago
All around, this film is an excellent portrayal of addiction on all levels, from the early stages of recreational use with the best of intentions to the inevitable late stages manifested by each individual character. As with all movies based on books, however, there is some discrepancy between the drug mentioned in the novel and the one portrayed in the film, as certain physical effects of the substance are not shown accurately. The desperation of those addicted is well-characterized, and the soundtrack adds to the intensity of the screen-play.
Chancie More than 1 year ago
I had been told by numerous people that this film was top-notch. I was told that it was very emotional and was one of the best films out there as far as realism goes and just about getting the point across. This definitely does it.

You follow Harry, Tyrone, Marion, and Harry's mother, Sarah on their journeys into one of the darker areas of society: addiction. While the three teens are heroine addicts and Sarah is addicted to diet pills, all of their share of painful effects and hardships.

This is a film not for the faint of heart in any way. If you are easily offended or sickened, do NOT see this movie. You'll need a strong stomach and an open mind to see it through.

While the ending was not quite what I had expected, I found it to be emotionally draining. I was left sitting there, listening to the music of the credits, just thinking "Wow..." The final scenes are so mind boggling that it might take a while for your brain to wrap around it.

The acting is very well done and all the characters are very believable. The way some of the scenes are done are so wacky and abstract that you yourself feel as if you're on something. Even though the main theme is replayed many times in the movie, I never grew tired of it, as I personally find it to sound beautiful.

Again, this movie requires a strong stomach and a very open mind. Don't go into this thinking it's a "friendly" film. It's not. Probably one the darkest movies I honestly have ever seen.
Shannamaria More than 1 year ago
When this movie was on I was glued to the screen, but afterward I wanted to be brainwashed to forget it. I lent the movie out before returning it (misery loves company), and when I inquired about it I was told, "I wish I didn't see that", I felt satisfied that I wasn't the only person with that reaction. As disturbing as the movie was I couldn't shut it off, so it must have had some sort of strange entertainment value. I would have liked to have read the book first, the written word always hits harder. I think I'm going to check out some of Selby's other novels to see if they have the same effect.
riverseeker More than 1 year ago
Frighteningly real; you see the raw meat of addiction.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Given the sanitized version of drug use in the current trend ''Traffic,'' this film will enlighten anyone truly interested in seeing the dark side of drug use. Ellen Burstyn's superb portrayal of Sara Goldfarb demonstrates how easy it is to get pulled into the world of drugs. The pain of unfulfilled dreams is often remedied by the balm of the feel-good quick fix. This is a tough film, but well worth the effort.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is definetly a must see. However, don't see it if any of these following adjectives describe your state-of-mind: sad, depressed, suicidal, homocidal, nihilistic. Beautifully done. The actors (even Wayans) were perfectly casted and did an excellent job. If you're looking for a moving movie... this is it. Be warned: you will feel sad and empty after watching it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have never seen a more affecting film in all of my life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie starts out just like a drug addiction. It slowly draws you in and just when you think every thing is going to be all right, it grabs you and takes you down.The characters are real and you not only see there strife you will also feel it. The imagary and soundtrack are very hypnotic. I was shaken for days after seeing this movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
upsetting. brilliant. intense. the most important movie of our time. everyone who has ever struggled with addiction, or known someone who has, should watch this movie. this is not entertainment ... it is an experience.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a psychological drama and I had chills all over my body after watching this movie.