Refused a US censor's rating, this adaptation of Hubert Selby's 1978 novel is as visually experimental and thematically uncompromising as director Aronofsky's first feature Pi. A relentless sensory assault threatens to overwhelm the viewer, but the visceral images and frantic editing capture the euphoric 'highs' and repetitive rituals of drug blighted lives, while drawing clear parallels between the characters' different forms of addiction. Aronofsky interweaves the tales of four Coney Island residents, each desperate to escape a dull existence. Burstyn gives a fearless, heartbreaking performance as Sara Goldfarb, a widow who shrugs off lethargy when promised an appearance on her favourite TV game show; but an amphetamine-based crash diet slowly disconnects her from reality. Her junkie son Harry (Leto) dreams of becoming a bigtime dealer with his friend Tyrone (Wayans). With the profits, Harry plans to open a clothes shop, based on his girlfriend Marion's designs. Burnished camerawork and ex-Pop Will Eat Itself head Mansell's part-punchy, part-elegiac score reinforce and counterpoint the increasingly nightmarish visuals.