best film: Requiem For a Dream. I’m fine with The Exorcist if someone wants to argue that and great films like Ed Wood, The Last Picture Show aren’t far behind either. The Exorcist is stunning to look at and a wallop of narrative but Aronofsky’s nightmare is so fiercely edited that I think I’d give it the slight edge right now if someone was making choose between the two—both are Masterpieces.
best performance: Requiem For a Dream is Burstyn’s best performance. It’s a go-for-broke loud performance that absolutely lands. She can do subtle— in fact she does it extremely well in The Exorcist which is my #2 choice here and it’s a testament to Burstyn that a genius-level performance like Requiem even draws serious competition from her other films—it does. Burstyn’s Sara Goldfarb is one of those 2-3 performances a decade from an actress though. It’s a triumph of physical acting and one of the saddest characters/roles in cinema history.
stylistic innovations/traits: Burstyn had a great run from 1971-1977 (she steals every scene in that talented ensemble film the last picture show) and then a slow 80’s and 90’s before her volcanic career-defining work in Aronofsky’s 2000 Masterpiece. She won an Oscar working with Scorsese (Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore) and had five other nominations over the years (famously robbed in 2000).
directors worked with: Aronofsky (2), and then Scorsese, Nolan once
Top 5 Performances:
- Requiem For a Dream
- The Exorcist
- The Last Picture Show
- Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
- The King of Marvin Gardens
|1971- The Last Picture Show|
|1972- King of Marvin’s Gardens|
|1973- The Exorcist|
|1974- Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore|
|1974- Harry and Tonto|
|1985- Twice in a Lifetime|
|1994- Ed Wood|
|2000- Requiem For a Dream|
|2006- The Fountain|