In 2000, Ed Harris directed Connelly in the biopic Pollock in which she played Ruth Kligman, Jackson Pollock's mistress. She also appeared in what critics considered her breakthrough film, Requiem for a Dream, directed by Darren Aronofsky and based on the novel of the same name by Hubert Selby, Jr. Connelly played Marion Silver, the girlfriend of Harry, played by Jared Leto; the movie also starred Marlon Wayans and Ellen Burstyn. Her character is a middle-class girl from Manhattan Beach who pursues the dream of establishing a dress shop. She becomes addicted to heroin and descends into a life of prostitution. Connelly prepared for the role by renting an apartment in the building where the character lived. During her time in the apartment, Connelly isolated herself, painted, listened to music that she considered that her character would, designed clothes, and used the time to reflect about addictions and their origin. Connelly also talked to addicts and attended Narcotics Anonymous meetings with a friend who was in recovery. Critics acclaimed the individual performances for the actors' emotional courage in portraying physical and mental degradation. Connelly said she became interested in the script for its depiction of the addictions and their effects on the lives and affections of the characters and their relatives.