Twelve years ago as a high school junior I sat breathless in my seat at Indianapolis’s art house movie theater as Requiem for a Dream finished kicking me in the gut with its punishing climax. The dark, unrated indie drama starring Jennifer Connelly, Jared Leto, an Oscar-nominated Ellen Burstyn, and Marlon Wayans would become my favorite film of the year — and, eventually of all time. And in my movie review column in the high school paper, come award time I would grumble as Burstyn was passed over for Julia Roberts and Requiem was of course too dark for best picture consideration at all. Instead all the attention went to Russell Crowe and Gladiator. I was of course very annoyed that the most unique film of the year revealing the most promising filmmaking career of his generation failed to get the attention it warranted. And I’ve always carried a bit of an irrational grudge against both Crowe and the film that fully launched his career as a result.
And now everything is at it should be and I can perhaps bury my anti-Crowe vendetta: Aronofsky’s artistic vision united with Crowe’s starpower to enable the bankrolling of Noah, the kind of epic that could have been made with 2006′s The Fountain had Brad Pitt not abandoned the project.
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