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R: ARCHIVE, S: MOVIES, D: 09/07/2000,

Requiem for a Dream

Darren Aronofsky is an independent filmmaker with a rare gift for re-creating unpleasant psychological states. Abetted by a lacerating soundtrack, his debut feature, Pi, depicted deteriorating sanity so cogently that by the end viewers shared its hero's nosebleeds. Based on the novel by Hubert Selby Jr., Requiem for a Dream multiplies the pain fourfold as a quartet of characters undergo the shortlived delights and prolonged miseries of addiction. Harry (Jared Leto) and Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) are junkies from Brighton Beach who dream of becoming drug dealers. Harry and dilettante druggie girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connelly) share a dream of living happily ever after. Harry's mother (Ellen Burstyn) has a dream too -- she wants to be slim enough to appear on a TV game show wearing her pretty red dress. A helpful doctor subscribes diet pills, and all four fall prey to their various joneses, each a variation on the ultimate high of the American dream. Aronofsky draws on both the brutal eloquence and the nagging predictability of Selby's prose, but despite harrowing performances (particularly by Burstyn), a flashy if repetitious depiction of the highs and lows of drug abuse, and a staggering climactic sequence (it earned the film an NC-17 rating), this Dream doesn't stir much beyond stereotype. Screens at the Cheri at 7:30 p.m. and tomorrow at the Copley Place at 11:30 a.m. and 2 and 4:30 p.m. Director Darren Aronofsky and star Ellen Burstyn will appear at tonight's screening.

-- Peter Keough

Film Festival Feature Films

Shadow of the Vampire | Songcatcher | Venus Beauty Institute | What's Cooking? | The Broken Hearts Club | Envy | Goya in Bordeaux | Human Resources | Skipped Parts | Amargosa | Henry Hill | Relative Values | The Rising Place | The Contender | Pitch People | Roof to Roof | Four Dogs Playing Poker | Reckless Indifference | Requiem for a Dream | Shadow Magic | About Adam | Charming Billy | Enemies of Laughter | Into the Arms of Strangers | Running on the Sun | A Trial in Prague | Harry, He's Here to Help | A Man is Mostly Water | Seven Girlfriends

Also, Boston Film Festival short films