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'Requiem for a Dream (Director's Cut)' [Blu-ray]
(Ellen Burstyn, Jennifer Connelly, Jared Leto, et al / Blu ray / NR / (2000) 2009 / LGF)

Overview: Employing shock techniques and sound design in a relentless sensory assault, Requiem for a Dream is about nothing less than the systematic destruction of hope. Based on the novel by Hubert Selby Jr., and adapted by Selby and director Darren Aronofsky, this is undoubtedly one of the most effective films ever made about the experience of drug addiction (both euphoric and nightmarish)!

Blu ray Verdict: It's as if Darren Aronofsky filmed your very own worst nightmare, assuming you had anything to do with drugs or drug addicts. If ever a viewer wondered about the interior state of being of drug addiction, this is the movie for you. Aronofsky used Hubert Selby Jr.'s book and screenplay as his source material and the source material is brilliant.

I love movies which explore surreal states. This must come in part from my fascination with surrealist art. Aronofsky's film probably owes more to the late Salvador Dali than to any other film director. I'm also fascinated by movies which move as if you were viewing them in a dream state. We do spend a great deal of our lives in a dream state and see life from an entirely different perspective in REM time. Aronofsky seems to understand this very well. Aronofsky and Selby, in intended irony, load their characters with dreams of their own which are destined to remain unfilled in large part because of their drug addictions.

Ellen Burstyn plays the easiest addict to understand and she does her usual masterful job. She wants to lose weight so takes diet pills (speed) to do so. Her dream is to be on tv which is what spurs her to the speed. Her son Harry, his girlfriend Marion, and his best friend Tyrone use the outright illegal street drugs and dream of becoming big drug dealers instead of low level pushers. On the way to drug fortune, they themselves become addicted.

Jared Leto as the son Harry Goldfarb does a first rate acting job. Frankly, prior to this role, I didn't think he had any acting talent. There is a growing problem with his injection infected arm which will remain visually with you long after the movie is over. Jennifer Connelly as Marion Silver is every bit as wonderful as Burstyn in this film. She is Harry's girlfriend, soon to enter a life of degradation due to the nightmarish descent into drugs.

Because this film is so visual, it is an ideal one for seeing in the best possible format available. Blue-ray was invented for just this kind of film. [CI] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and come with the Special Features of:

Commentaries w/ Darren Aronofsky, Matthew Libatique
The Making of 'Requiem for a Dream' (35:19)
Memories, Dreams, and Addictions (19:56)
Deleted Scenes - with optional commentary from Darren Aronofsky