Movie Monologue Monday – Ellen Burstyn in Requiem for a Dream


Ellen Burstyn in Requiem for a Dream

This week’s Movie Monologue Monday is going to look at Ellen Burstyn’s heartbreaking performance in Requiem for a Dream.

The movie follows the parallel and intertwining lives of four substance abusers. Burstyn plays Sara Goldfarb, a widow obsessed with getting on a TV game show. She takes diet pills to fit into her special red dress for the TV show and becomes addicted.

It’s important to note that the great success she refers to at the beginning of the monologue is a lie, a fantasy at best.

I think this is a terrific piece to study. Every phrase, every word has a whole life of meaning behind it. She’s not just saying words, she’s living them in the moment, living the history behind them, and living in the fantasy she’s created for herself.

Pieces like this are why it’s important to fully understand the past life of your character, the events that happened to them in the past. If this information isn’t provided by the author, you need to create it, you need to fill in the blanks. She explores the entirety of her life in this piece.

About the author

Craig Mason