This week’s Top 5 counts down cinema’s most memorable drug addicts
5. Travis – Clueless
I just can’t find it in my heart to forget about Travis, the loveable high-school stoner in Heckerling’s cult classic, Clueless. I love his speech on tardiness, and I just feel that in real life, we’d be friends.
4. Mia Wallace – Pulp Fiction
It would be a travesty to compile a list of film drug users and not mention Pulp Fiction, or indeed Tarantino. Mia is, for some perverse reason, idolised and admired, even though she mistakes heroin for cocaine and almost dies. Nevertheless, she is an undeniably iconic character.
3. Spud – Trainspotting
While any of Irvine Welsh’s shady Glaswegians could make the Top Five list, Spud undeniably takes the top spot for me. The scene in which he takes speed at an interview is, without a doubt, one of the best moments in cinema.
2. Withnail – Withnail and I
I’m not sure whether I am biased, as Withnail and I is one of my favourite films and they go to holiday in my hometown by mistake, or because the film is such a magnificent drinking game. But come on, Withnail has probably “had more drugs than you’ve had hot dinners.” (I am aware this quote is actually referencing Danny the drug dealer, but I like it.)
1. Sara Goldfarb – Requiem for a Dream
While any of the characters in Aronofsky’s stunning film could easily make this list, Sara is the only one I really want to include—she is the only addict in the film who manages to elicit sympathy from the audience. While the rest of the characters make bad choices, mix with the wrong crowds and meet unmistakeably miserable fates, Sara is a reminder to the audience that addiction is not just caused by recreational drugs.
She is obsessed with the vision of a slimmer self, in which she is famous and makes her son proud, taking legal amphetamines in an attempt to achieve this. She is a victim, and Ellen Burstyn’s flawless performance makes this character all the more haunting and tragic.