The Exorcist (1973) Film Review

The Exorcist

Film Actress Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn) is a single mother whose twelve-year-old daughter starts showing some strange behaviours. All the doctors and scientists cannot find anything wrong, and the eventual decision is that she must have a psychological problem, even though her face is falling off and her body is turning in all strange and mysterious manners. Finally, Father Karras (Jason Miller) is called and is eventually convinced to get the church to organize the exorcist, Father Merrin (Max von Sydow).

It is a great film and thank goodness the special effects are quite dated otherwise I may well have collapsed into a pile of shivering fear. Though I did question the doubts that were expressed by all of them that she was possessed given the way she looked, acted and spoke. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the film, and as is often the case, there was so much more to it than the small parts I was familiar with from popular culture. And when her head spun around, I cheered – I’ve wanted to see that for so long!

The Exorcist won Oscars for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium (William Peter Blatty) and Best Sound, and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Actress in a Leading Role (Ellen Burstyn), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Jason Miller), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Linda Blair), Best Director (William Friedkin), Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration and Best Film Editing.


Requiem for a Dream (2000) Film Review

Requiem for a Dream

Sara Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn) is an older woman who is obsessed by television, in particular the strange game show starring Tappy Tibbons (Christopher McDonald). When she receives a letter advising she is going to be on television, she becomes obsessed with losing weight to fit into a dress, to extreme measures. Meanwhile, her son, Harry (Jared Leto), his mate Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) and his girlfriend, Marion (Jennifer Connelly) are having a ball, experimenting with drugs and dabbling in selling. Things are ace; then things go bad.

This is very close to being a sadtacular film. Close, but watching it again, the impact was greatly lessened. It is still an extremely good film, well crafted, stunning, amazing soundtrack, marvellous performances. But it no longer holds the power to cause me to cry my eyes out. If you’ve been scared to watch it, don’t. It’s worth it, even if it is hard.

Requiem for a Dream was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress in a leading Role (Ellen Burstyn).