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YMMV: Requiem for a Dream
  • Award Snub: Ellen Burstyn's heartbreaking performance as Sara lost the Academy Award for Best Actress to... Julia Roberts in Erin Brockovich. And the film didn't get a single other nomination, not even for Original Score, Cinematography, or Film Editing.
    • Regarding Burstyn losing to Roberts, you can chalk it up to Burstyn having won decades previously for Alice Doesnt Live Here Anymore, and Roberts being at the peak of her career and up til then unlauded for it. That's just how the Oscars work. The snubs of other categories, however, are outrageous.
      • Particularly the score. This, just listen to it. This track is not merely very good, it has become part of the musical lexicon on a scale comparable with Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.
  • Best Known for the Ass to Ass Scene
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Used really oddly to highlight decidedly unawesome events.
    • Special mention to the famous opening bombastic score set to the incredible sight of...two men pushing a television across Brooklyn.
    • Not to the mention the pure Nightmare Fuel of how well it captures the characters' Sanity Slippage.
    • The movie's theme, "Lux Aeterna," is so famous it's heard by people before they've even seen the movie.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Uncle Hank, better known as Ass to Ass guy.
  • He Really Can Act: Marlon Wayans.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Dylan Baker playing a doctor who is involved in an amputation? Wouldn't be the last time.
    • In the behind-the scenes footage, Marlon Wayans is seen making fun of Jar Jar Binks, but immediately afterward he went on to play a similar annoying, cowardly black sidekick in Dungeons & Dragons.
  • Jerkass Woobie: The opening scene establishes Harry as being quite a Jerk Ass to his mom, Sara, but later in the first act subverts it by showing that he seems harsh sometimes, but he really does love and care about his mom and wants the best for her. Then the next two acts happen.
  • Memetic Mutation: “So what're we gonna do now?” "Ass to ass." "ASS TO ASS!"
    • The remix of the main theme practically has a life of its own now.
  • Narm: The excessive cuts, overly dramatic music and oddly music video feel of some scenes can make them a bit hard to take seriously. Going by comments from the director, this may have been intentional though.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Christopher MacDonald as the "JUICE" infomercial/motivational speaker Tappy Tibbons, whose program Sara watches and she believes she's getting invited to as a "contestant". They filmed an entire presentation of the "JUICE" program in one day with MacDonald improvising most of it. At the end of the shoot, everyone in attendance gave him a standing ovation.
    • Little John, simply for being played by Keith David.
    • Dylan Baker as the doctor who turns Harry and Tyrone in. He squeezes quite a lot of performance into a minute or so of screentime.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: The film's use of the "hip hop montage", a series of rapid cuts accompanied by sound effects, looks normal now, despite the fact that this was the film that popularised its use (Aronofsky previously used it in π.) This extends to the point where The Simpsons used a similar montage to show Homer's reaction to eating a McRib sandwich, which McDonald's themselves then copied for a bacon wrap ad.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: A viewer who agrees that Drugs Are Bad is likely to see it this way.
  • Special Effect Failure: As sad as the film's ending is, it does get ruined when one notices Jared Leto's real arm pressed up against him can be seen under the blue sheet, and when people can see the cotton on the ground masquerading as snow (when the ladies try to console each other after seeing Sara) and that it was clearly shot in a summer day.
  • True Art Is Angsty: If so, then this film is a masterpiece.
    • Or, you may think that this film is a subversion of this trope: that this film is a masterpiece despite the huge levels of angst.
  • The Woobie: Besides, you know, everyone, Sara in particular comes off as the most sympathetic, having never gotten involved with the drug trade and simply wanting to have something to live for again. She plays the most part of a victim, being neglected by her son and doctor and appearing generally unhappy and lonely. Especially since she only wanted to lose weight and wasn't trying to get high in the first place.
    • She is also a loving mother who genuinely cares greatly for her son, and this love seems to extend to Marion (whom she fantasizes about marrying her son, implying that she already thinks of Marion like a daughter and feels that Marion is a good match for him).

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