Best Five

Ellen Burstyn of 33 Variations – Best Five

Starring in the upcoming production of 33 Variations at Melbourne's Comedy Theatre, we've rounded up our five favourite Ellen Burstyn moments.

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Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore – Trailer

Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore - Trailer

A Martin Scorsese classic from 1974, Burstyn’s performance in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore won her an Academy Award for Best Actress. In the film, she travels across the country with her son in an attempt to go home to Monterrey, California. Wanting to be a singer but having to wait tables when they run out of money in Arizona.

Requiem For a Dream – Monologue

Requiem for a Dream - Ellen Burstyn Monologue.flv

Burstyn was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in Requiem For A Dream and it’s not hard to tell why when you see this powerful monologue of hers from the film. Burstyn’s character Sara Goldfarb develops an addiction to amphetamine drugs in order to lose weight to fit into her favourite red dress to appear on a TV game show and be “somebody” again after the loss of her husband.

The Exorcist – “That thing up there isn’t my daughter”

The Exorcist #6 Movie CLIP - That Thing Upstairs Isn't My Daughter (1973) HD

1973 horror film, The Exorcist, is a cult classic, and it’s still just as terrifying over 40 years later. Burstyn plays the mother of a 12-year old girl possessed by a demon. Burstyn’s performance was incredible, in a film mostly known for its possession scenes Burnstyn’s performance was stand out. In the above scene she begs with the desperation of a mother for them to perform an exorcism because “that thing up there isn’t my daughter”.

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood – Car Scene

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002) - Car Scene

Written and directed by Callie Khouri, of Thelma and Louise fame, The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood is an incredible story about female friendships and mother-daughter relationships. Burstyn plays the older Vivi, who claims her daughter is “dead to her” when her daughter reveals that her latest play drew inspiration from her unhappy childhood. Vivi’s friends kidnap her daughter to make her understand who Vivi really is. In this scene, Burstyn goes to confront her friends about their having her daughter with them.

Saturday Night Live – Ellen Burstyn Hosting

Ellen Burstyn Monologue - Saturday Night Live

Burstyn hosts Saturday Night Live in 1980 (oh, 80s fashion…) going through all her dramatic roles she’s played and declaring it’s time to lighten up.

Ellen Burstyn will perform in 33 Variations at the Comedy Theatre, Melbourne from Thursday 7 March. We certainly can’t wait to see such a celebrated Hollywood and Broadway actress live on stage here in Australia. Tickets are still available via