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Requiem for a Dream [DVD] [2001]

4.3 out of 5 stars 255 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans, Christopher McDonald
  • Directors: Darren Aronofsky
  • Writers: Darren Aronofsky, Hubert Selby Jr.
  • Producers: Ann Ruark, Beau Flynn, Ben Barenholtz, Eric Watson, Jonah Smith
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Momentum Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Aug. 2001
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (255 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005N53K
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,769 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Emotional drama set in Coney Island, New York about the lives and aspirations of four people compromised by drug abuse. Stars Oscar-winner Ellen Burstyn and Jared Leto as mother and son.

From Amazon.co.uk

Fantasy mixes with the harsh reality of addiction and the desire for hope in Requiem for a Dream. Beginning at the dawn of a new summer in Coney Island, the film charts the relationship of Sara Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn) and her son Harry (Jared Leto)--two characters who are lost with in a world of the self-absorbed desire to feed their addictions at the cost of hope and love. With a sublime score (performed by the Kronos Quartet) accompanying some intense visual imagery, the film sets up an almost fairy-tale wash over the characters' lives, with every hit of their chosen drug turning them into beautiful people surrounded by a haze which enhances all their features. However, unlike films such as Trainspotting which turn the dream into a nightmare then end with a huge dose of hope, Requiem for a Dream forces the viewer through all loss of hope and the descending madness of reality, as winter begins.

Darren Aronofsky's follow-up to the critically acclaimed Pi is a movie which exposes not only the terror caused by addiction of any kind--be it TV or Heroin--but also offers a powerful insight into the destruction caused by the desire to achieve "the American Dream". Based on the novel by Hubert Selby Jr, the film sacrifices dialogue in favour of imagery and movement: the editing and cinematography are reminiscent of MTV, however the movie takes this very aggressive style and moulds it to its own needs, adding a beautifully haunting narrative and powerful performances by its four main characters (Burstyn just missing out on an Oscar for Best female lead to Julia Roberts). Ultimately the viewer is left with a sense of desperation and despair: Requiem for a Dream exposes drugs and addiction in the most powerful and truthful way a film has ever managed, leaving no stone unturned.

On the DVD: This disc is bursting with excellent special features. The anamorphic widescreen picture makes the most of the film's stylish visuals, and the soundtrack offers choice of either Dolby Digital 5.1 or 2.0. As well as offering the obligatory theatrical trailer, scene selection and a fantastic director's commentary, there's also a "making-of" featurette, TV trailers charting the reviews and success of the film, an "Anatomy of a scene", and a wide range of deleted scenes. By far the best feature is Hubert Selby Jr's interview with Ellen Burstyn, which offers the writer a chance to put across not just his opinions on his work but also on life as a whole. All these features are placed within an impressively formatted menu. --Nikki Disney

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 15 July 2002
Format: DVD
I can honestly say this is the only film i have seen that had the power to change my thinking and outlook on life. Ever since i first saw it the characters, imagery and emotion of the piece have remained with me. Every aspect of this film is a triumph. Each of the four leading actors are stupendous and in my view both Connelly and especially Burstyn were robbed of oscars that were rightfully theirs.
There are many great films, but what separates the great from the truly great are those that are completely unique, as is this one. I purchased this dvd on a limb and unsure what to expect, but from the outset the picture showed me a new cinematic language in its montage imagery, pacing, editing and what is surely one of the most brutally moving scores ever composed.
Aside from these, the film is unique in its honesty. Yes it is supremely dark in its subject matter and climax and thank god for it. For too long Hollywood has felt the need to produce pleasant, hopeful comfort film and neglected from portraying what is in many cases the unpleasant reality of life for so many people. In the real world lives get messed up and they dont always get better, sometimes they stay messed up, and finally we have a director, writer and studio prepared to admit this. The result is a film that many will reject and despise, because it challenges the shell that protects us and our enclosed existence from the reality of what is all around us, but a film that ought to be experienced, and treasured by those who appreciate what makes a great film.
To see 'requiem for a dream' is draining, exhausting and exhilarating, but it is not depressing. Several times i have watched this picture and found myself strangely uplifted, a downbeat emotion that very few films have ever aroused in me.
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Format: DVD
I was lent this movie by a friend who had watched it and recently bought it. As soon as I put it on I was absolutely at the mercy of this unflinching onslaught of a movie. It is brilliantly written, directed and acted. It wishes to hit home the dangers of drugs, both hard and even more socially acceptable ones. It did its job with visceral zeal and after the credits rolled, I felt completely wrung out emotionally. I think it is a fantastic film and one I never wish to see again. I don't need to, I got the message! Incidentally, my friend and I were talking about a list, published by some film institute, of great movies that you would only want to see once, and I said immediately that I bet Requiem was on it. He laughed and said it was around number 3 and actually come to mention it, he hadn't watched it once after buying it. Here endeth the lesson.
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Format: DVD
I found this DVD as a recommendation whilst searching for others and liked the sound of the reviews so I thought I would give it a go. I like a film to leave me with something and Requiem for a Dream certainly did this. Its fantastic, shocking, compelling, exicting and drepressing all at the same time. Its very well acted, espeically Ellen Burstyn's performance as a mother neglected by her drug addicted son with an addiction to television and eventually her own drug, dodgy diet pills. The visuals are amazing, they draw you in like a bad dream and the ending left me with a lump in my throat which I kept pondering for days. I would recommend this film to anyone however, would warn that if you are easily distrubed proceed with caution. Amazing!
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By A Customer on 28 Jun. 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is one hell of a bleak film, but as long as you can watch it (some people I know couldn’t sit through it), it is an absolute masterpiece. It’s an adaption of a book by Hubert Selby Jr. about the various addictions of four people (an elderly widow, her son, his girlfriend and his best friend) , be they to drugs, television, or even the hope of a better tomorrow, in Brooklyn, New York. So far, so Trainspotting you might think. However, the two films are actually very different, not least in terms of visual style. In this aspect, Requiem For A Dream is streets ahead of it’s British counterpart. The director Darren Aronofsky, a native of Brooklyn himself, has done a first class job here, using a variety of different techniques, including split screens, time lapse photography and speeded up montages. In the commentary on the DVD, he said he wanted to avoid making an MTV-style film, but that’s what it looks like. This is by no means a criticism, though, the film looks absolutely fantastic, but I see no sense in denying its style.
As well as the superb cinematography, the film also contains some superb performances from its four stars Jared Leto, Ellen Burstyn, Jennifer Connolly and Marlon Wayans. Indeed, Burstyn was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar, though she didn’t win. It is also nice to see Leto in a role where he has more to do than look handsome.
This film is not one to watch when you are feeling a bit down, as it is not in the least bit cheery. I promise it will make you feel worse, as it is heartbreakingly sad to see the lives of the protagonists completely unravelling before their eyes, whilst they keep believing things are soon going to get better. Things don’t get better, they reach rock bottom for all of the characters. No redemption, no happy ending, just one of the best films of the last ten years. Absolutely essential.
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