Requiem for a Dream (2000) - Synopsis


Writer/director Darren Aronofsky follows up his critically acclaimed feature debut, Pi (1998) , with Requiem for a Dream, adapted from the 1978 novel by celebrated author Hubert Selby Jr.. (Last Exit to Brooklyn). Imaginatively evoking the inner landscape of human beings longing to connect, to love and feel loved, the film is a parable of happiness gloriously found and tragically lost.

Set against the abandoned beaches and weathered brick apartment buildings of Coney Island, Requiem for a Dream (2000) tells parallel stories that are linked by the relationship between the lonely, widowed Sara Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn) and her sweet but aimless son, Harry (Jared Leto).

The plump Sara, galvanized by the prospect of appearing on a TV game show, has started on a dangerous diet regimen to beautify herself for a national audience. Meanwhile, Harry and his new girlfriend Marion Silver (Jennifer Connelly) have slowly begun to reveal themselves to one another, with each looking to the other to redeem years of isolation and pain.

Their love forms an artificial refuge that lets them shut out the real world, and they lie quietly on Marion's floor, spinning outsized dreams of future bliss. After Harry and his best friend Tyrone C. Love (Marlon Wayans) successfully launch themselves as drug dealers, the three young people begin to feel all but invincible.

Lulled by early victories, Sara, Harry, Marion and Tyrone convince themselves that unforeseen setbacks are merely temporary. Gaunt and increasingly disoriented, Sara barricades herself inside her apartment, where she is besieged by hallucinations. Clinging tenaciously to misbegotten hopes, Harry and Marion let go of one another, betraying their love. Lost and beyond help, four human beings plunge deeper into delusion and desperation until finally their dreams have become nightmares.

Author Selby offered an emotional endorsement of Aronofsky's adaptation of his novel. "It brought me to tears. If people have anything approaching the reaction I had, the film will have stirred something deep within them. Because anybody who has lived on this planet will recognize something about themselves in this story."

Artisan Entertainment and Thousand Words are proud to present Requiem for a Dream, directed by Darren Aronofsky, screenplay by Hubert Selby Jr.. and Darren Aronofsky, adapted from the novel by Hubert Selby Jr..

A Sibling/Protozoa production in association with Industry and Bandeira Entertainment, the film was produced by Eric Watson and Palmer West, and executive produced by Nick Wechsler, Beau Flynn and Stefan Simchowitz. The co-executive producer was Ben Barenholtz, and co-producers were Randy Simon, Jonah Smith, Scott Vogel and Scott Franklin.

The director of photography was Matthew Libatique, the editor Jay Rabinowitz, A.C.E., the production designer James Chinlund, and the costume designer Laura Jean Shannon. The composer was Clint Mansell, with string quartets performed by the Kronos Quartet. Requiem for a Dream stars Academy Award® -winner Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly and Marlon Wayans.