This film is, again, one of those 'completely fantastic films which I managed to not see for ten years'. Possibly the best film I've ever seen for free, it is about four people who all end up addicted to drugs and what happens to them over the course of a year and what effect the addiction has on them.
Harry Goldfarb, the main character, is a heroin addict, who repeatedly sells his mother's TV in order to pay for more drugs, while his mother will continue to buy the same TV back from the pawn shop because she is addicted to TV game shows and self-help programs.
Eventually, Harry and his friend Tyrone begin selling heroin to make lots of money for themselves, while his mother receives a phone call from a TV station telling her she'll be on TV, which is her perfect dream. She decides to wear her red dress to the occasion, but cannot fit into it properly so goes to the doctor to get diet pills, to which she also becomes addicted.
The story is about each character's addiction and the downward spiral their lives take when they struggle to cope with the effects of it.
If there was ever a good enough argument not to start taking heroin, it's watching this film. Then reading Russell Brand's Booky Wook.
I can't recommend this highly enough if you like films which are gritty and harrowing, which I do. I think it has gone straight to the list of my favourite films, along with Seven, The Darjeeling Limited, The Orphanage and Donnie Darko.
I also have Trainspotting in my rental list, and I can't wait to see that.