Friday, January 17, 2014

Goodfellas (1990)

Director: Martin Scorsese

Writers: Nicholas Pileggi, Martin Scorsese

Composer: none

Starring: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco, Paul Sorvino, Frank Sivero, Tony Darrow, Mike Starr, Frank Vincent, Chuck Low, Frank DiLeo, Henny Youngman, Gina Mastrogiacomo, Catherine Scorsese, Charles Scorsese, Suzanne Shepherd, Debi Mazar, Jerry Vale, Michael Imperioli, Frank Pellegrino, Tony Sirico, Illeana Douglas, Samuel L. Jackson, Tobin Bell

More info: IMDb

Tagline: "As far back as I can remember, I've always wanted to be a gangster." -- Henry Hill, Brooklyn, N.Y. 1955.

Plot: The lowly, blue-collar side of New York's Italian mafia is explored in this crime biopic of wiseguy Henry Hill. As he makes his way from strapping young petty criminal, to big-time thief, to middle-aged cocaine addict and dealer, the film explores in detail the rules and traditions of organized crime. Watching the rise and fall of Hill and his two counterparts, the slick jack-of-all-trades criminal Jimmy Conway and the brutish, intimidating Tommy DeVito, this true story realistically explores the core, blue-collar part of the mob.

My rating: 10/10

Will I watch it again? Duh.

Without question, this is my favorite Martin Scorsese picture and one of my favorite movies of all time.  I can't believe it's been over six years since I last saw it.  But then, I've seen it so many times I can probably re-watch it from memory.  It's one of the greatest casts ever assembled and it's the standout roles for Joe Pesci and Ray Liotta who are both magnificent.  The first half of the picture glamorizes the Mafia through the eyes of Henry Hill (Liotta) and his, and his pals', rise through the ranks.  It's fun, funny and thrilling.  It's a treat to see this side of crime be so alluring.  And then things start to go downhill for everyone and it's a slow descent to their eventual end of the dream.  Everything about this picture is absolutely superb - the music selection, editing, dialogue, performances, lighting, cinematography, EVERYTHING.  I particularly like the frenetic pacing through all of the events that happen on the day of Hill's arrest.  We're made to feel uncomfortable and on edge just like how Hill feels.  Brilliant.  It's a shame this didn't win for Best Picture at the Oscars.  DANCES WITH WOLVES was the winner and only real competition.  It's a very good picture but it's not the master stroke GOODFELLAS is.  It was also up against AWAKENINGS, GHOST and THE GODFATHER: PART III if you can believe it.  At least Pesci won for Best Supporting Actor.  Not even the screenplay or editing won.  Travesty.  Somebody sick the dogs on 'em.

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