One week I have almost no movies to recommend, the other week I have too many to shuffle through. Addiction being the topic with a wider range, not only is addiction related to drugs but also alcohol, sex, pain killers as well as food and shopping etc. I feel like there are so many movies to choose from. But at the end of the day, I figured there are three very heavy movies of addiction that I would recommend.
This week’s topic was recommended by Wendell.
1. REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, 2000
First movie that came to mind was of course the movie that is famous for its portrayal of drug addiction. The performances by Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly and Ellen Burstyn alone are worth your time, but the drug-infused reality is something of an experience. I’ve seen this movie couple of times, and each time I do, I’m frightened of it. It is a very real, and honest, yet gruesome and brutal representation of addiction.
2. TRAINSPOTTING, 1996
With the T2: Trainspotting on its way, everyone should watch or re-watch this Irvine Welsh novel by the same name adapted on screen by Danny Boyle. It’s weird, it’s dark, it’s funny, and if anything else fails to impress, Ewan McGregor’s accent makes you feel like everything was worth it. Also, 10 years later, the opening monologue is still relevant, and you wouldn’t even have to change it, because everything is still as true. Minus the heroin part.
3. NYMPHOMANIAC: VOL I & VOL II, 2013
Alright, now, this is a difficult movie to digest for any movie enthusiast, and I feel like that’s exactly what Lars von Trier is doing. He makes difficult movies, with difficult topics and Nymphomaniac is no different. I saw through this very long movie three years ago, and I still remember the emotional exhaustion I felt. It is probably the most difficult movie about addiction I’ve seen. Not just because it’s difficult to watch a t times, but it’s very difficult to understand our main character, which puts a certain distance between the movie and the viewer.
* CALIFORNICATION, 2007-2014
Granted, I think I haven’t watched the final season, but I do think I’ll get there eventually. Californication is a show about various addictions, sex and alcohol being the ones our main character struggles with. It takes a more comedic route showcasing them but there’s always a few drama elements to it. Still, if heavy isn’t your thing, then Californication with its lighter approach is something for you.
THIS SERIES IS CREATED BY WANDERING THROUGH THE SHELVES
I can’t watch Requiem for a dream anymore. It’s too depressing and filled with hopeless outcomes. But it is very good.
I’ve had Nymphomaniac queued up on Netflix forever! Need to finally sit down and watch.
I think I will watch Requiem for a Dream someday again.. the fact that it is depressing just makes it more real, but at the moment, I’m not in the mood for real.
Requiem for a Dream. OOF. One of the greatest films that will absolutely never watch again. What a harrowing experience. I still think it should be shown to every high school freshman on their first day of classes. Scare those kids straight lol.
I think that’s the theme with RfaD because nobody really wants to re-watch it. I have. Twice. And I think I will watch it again. And true, if you want to scare people away from heavy drugs, that is the movie to show.. those educational videos do nothing, but that scene where he’s trying to inject himself but his arm is so messed up.. my god, flashbacks.
I like the first two but I’ve sworn off Von Trier movies so I’ve never see Nymphomaniac. lol
I think I would rather watch Trier than Malick..
Welcome back! Good picks that I wish I could say I liked, or at least the two I’ve seen, but I’d be lyin’ if I did.
Ellen Burstyn is amazing in Requiem and should have won that Oscar but I struggled through the movie to the end only because I felt I should stick with it, the only happiness I derived from it was seeing the credits roll!
Even worse was Trainspotting! I L-O-A-T-H-E-D that film with a white hot flame of disgust. The idea of watching a sequel is headache inducing. I know mine is not the general opinion but it does seem like a love it or hate it view.
I’ve never had any desire to see Nymphomaniac. I’ve never liked any von Trier film I’ve seen and this one didn’t look to reverse the course.
There is a deep well of choices this week so I tried to go off the beaten path.
A Rage to Live (1965)-Soap opera pure and simple based on a John O’Hara novel about a woman who in more enlightened times would have been viewed as a person with a crippling disorder, nymphomania, that would require treatment but for our purposes here is a wanton slut. The great Suzanne Pleshette’s character Grace Caldwell Tate is ruled by urges she cannot control and nothing she attempts, marriage, a child etc., can stop them. There are minor attempts at some insight into her problem but they are quickly tossed away in favor of sensationalism. Good supporting cast including Peter Graves and in a rare on screen role Brett Somers Klugman from Match Game. If you enjoy trashy cinema with quality actors enacting silly situations with earnest professionalism this is right up your alley.
Drugstore Cowboy (1989)-A “family” of junkies consisting of two couples (Matt Dillon, Kelly Lynch, Heather Graham and James Le Gros) drift around the country subsisting and feeding their habit by robbing drug stores. They float along in a perpetual haze until a tragedy opens the eyes of the leader Bob (Dillon) and he determines to go straight. It’s a struggle and only gets more difficult when someone from his past shows up and tries to force him into scoring drugs. Gus Van Sant directed film is relentlessly downbeat with one of Dillon’s best performances.
The Doors (1991)-The story of the rise and fall of the 60’s rock band and its infamous leader Jim Morrison whose freewheeling lifestyle and many addictions lead to much acrimony within the band as well as his early death in Paris. Val Kilmer is terrific as The Lizard King, Meg Ryan less so as his wild child wife.
Again, your picks sound great, I think I’m going to check The Doors soon.
All choices that are excellent indeed.
Trainspotting seems to be the film this week and it’s a good film for this week to showcase. The toilet scene is gross and the baby is so very sad.
Indeed, I saw it pretty much on all the lists.
Of course you’re frightened of Requiem for a Dream. It’s a horror film, and a damn fine one. Burstyn blew me away with her performance, too. Trainspotting is also amazing. It’s Boyle and McGregor at their finest. I’m another who has had Nymphomaniac all queued up in Netflix forever, but haven’t gotten around to watching it.
I think there are three people in the world.. ones who haven’t watched Nympho, the ones who just saw it, and then there are those who hate it deeply.
Can’t believe I didn’t think of Nymphomaniac. I absolutely loved those two films, but I admit it wasn’t an easy watch.
I think when one thinks of addiction, the mind doesn’t go straight for “sex-addiction”.. it’s rarely portrayed in movies as well, at least as far as I know. Which means mainstream isn’t really exploring the sex-addiction theme just yet.
I despised Nymphomaniac, Part 2. I stuck with Part 1 and found it to be really smart. Part 2. No. The scene in the restaurant with the spoons. Spare me. Lol. You other two picks are solid and were definitely on my mind this week, though I haven’t seen either in years. Need to revisit Trainspotting since the follow-up is coming out soon.
I thought the same about Trainspotting, I’ve seen it but I think I should revisit it before the sequel.