Top Twenty of the Decade #3

Sara: Purple in the morning, blue in the afternoon, orange in the evening…  And green at night. Just like that. One, two, three, four.

3. Requiem For A Dream (2000)
– Dir. Darren Aronofsky

Ellen Burstyn gives the second best performance of the decade. (See #5)

And Marlon Wayans gives the only performance of his career, so there’s that.

Seriously though, this is one serious movie that many find hard to stomach or watch a second time. Why would anyone even entertain the thought of drugs if they’ve seen this movie?

A film fascinated with addiction and loneliness with more cuts and camera tricks than a music video. They’re not used as gimmicks (as some would claim), but in service of theme and emotion. How better to portray compulsive behavior than with fast motion & repetitive editing?

And once you’ve been brought head first into the mind and body of these characters, Aronofsky pulls the rug out from under you. He shatters their world and takes you with them to startling extremes (“ass to ass” anyone?).

Some of my favorite things have nothing to do with drugs or the technical merits of the film but with heartbreak. There is, of course, Ellen Burstyn’s wrenching speech about being old. I also love the quiet scenes between Leto and Connelly.  These are scenes that really give you a sense of their love and love lost, how it represents yet another dependency.

The reason people avoid the movie is why I think it is so great. There’s something powerful about being in your face and rubbing the audiences nose in it, which is not recommended for every movie. But, I think it’s very moving and appropriate for this film, this subject matter.

You might not want a film to punish you, but Requiem proves that maybe you need to be punished, at least once in a while.


6 responses to “Top Twenty of the Decade #3

  1. Ellen Burstyn is amazing.

    I still don’t like this movie.

    Plenty of people who like it still do drugs.

  2. Yeah, but not the hard stuff

    • You’re just making an assumption that I don’t know people who use hard stuff. And you know what happens when you make an assumption… you make an ass out of yourself and umption. Yes, the hard stuff.

  3. Well, I didn’t say it doesn’t happen just that I don’t understand it.

    I had no idea about your seedier friends. I guess the next evolution of heroin chic is to actually use heroin.

  4. Pingback: Top Twenty Films of the Decade – Recap | Shooting the Script

  5. Pingback: Top Twenty Films of the Decade – Recap | Shooting the Script

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