This is a classic example of the age old battle between style over substance. It consists of some of the most badass visual / editing techniques I’ve seen in a film from the last fifteen years in conflict with a story that just doesn’t have a great deal of essence and meaning. In a way, I feel as if the writer just wanted to think of as many downer situations as he could, then think of a way to include them in the story. It lacks in philosophy to a certain degree as well as character development and could have benefited from a deeper analysis of addiction rather than just a superficial exploration (with the exception of Ellen Burstyn’s character of course.) This is a lesson I feel he learned before directing “The Wrestler.” However, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t admire a number of technique’s Aronofsky used when he made this film. I also find it to be a good medium between main-stream cinema and art-house cinema, and an excellent source for transition between the two. Often I feel as pretentious people are quick to turn their backs on films like this after they have submerged from artistic obscurity (a social movement which is oh so familiar to bohemians.) I’m not going to knock this, 4 stars.