Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Best 10 Films of Martin Scorsese

When Scorsese finally won a best director Oscar®,
 for The Departed, he said "I think I want a recount",
making fun of the 2000 Presidential election,
and the fact that he had never won an Oscar®

Ranked by my order of preference, click for my review

  1. Raging Bull (1980) best actor Oscar® for Robert De Niro, No. 75 on the IMDB top 250, 21 awards overall [This is my favorite boxing film, and one of the greatest performances in cinema history. Thelma Schoonmacher's editing also won an Oscar®]
  2. The Departed (2006) best picture Oscar® (four total), No. 58 on the IMDB 250, 53 awards overall [Oscars® for picture, director, editing, screenplay]
  3. Goodfellas (1990) supporting actor Oscar® for Joe Pesci, No. 15 on the IMDB 250, 35 awards overall
  4. Gangs of New York (2002) no Oscars® (10 nominations, a record for non-winners), 33 awards overall, including 17 for Daniel Day-Lewis
  5. Taxi Driver (1976) No. 41 on the IMDB top 250, winner Palm d'Or at Cannes, 19 awards overall
  6. The King of Comedy (1982)  3 awards overall (no Oscar® nods)
  7. Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974) best actress Oscar® for Ellen Burstyn, BAFTA for best film, 5 awards overall
  8. Mean Streets (1973) 3 awards (two for De Niro's supporting performance, no Oscar® nods)
  9. The Age of Innocence (1993) one Oscar® ( for costumes, 11 nominations), 11 awards overall
  10. The Aviator (2004) 5 Oscars®, incl supporting actress for Cate Blanchett, 50 awards overall [Oscars® for supp. actress, art direction, editing, cinematography, costume design]
  11. Shutter Island (2008) No. 249 on the IMDB 250, 3 awards overall (no Oscar® nods)

[That's 236 awards total for just these films, including 14 Oscars®: 5 for Aviator, 4 for Departed, 2 for Raging Bull, 3 others 1 each.. Scorsese has won 85 awards himself, most for directing (41 were for individual feature films) but some are for screenplays - his only Oscar® is for directing The Departed]

Ok, so we gave Marty 11 films, all of his are worth seeing, especially these..

The last ones I eliminated were: The Last Waltz, (two awards) primarily because it was a documentary, and really just a music concert.. the other was the overlong musical New York, New York ..(one award, for De Niro's performance).. it just wasn't as involving as his typical films.. also The Last Temptation of Christ  -the casting was just too bizarre, Willem Dafoe as Jesus, Harvey Keitel as Paul, the list goes on.. it did win one award, at Venice - ironically, it's only Oscar® nomination was for Scorsese's directing

Thelma Schoonmaker has edited every Scorsese
film from Raging Bull on, and has won 3 Oscars®,
for Raging Bull, The Departed, and The Aviator.
She is one of the best editors ever

Martin almost went into the priesthood in 1956, but thankfully decided to get a film degree from NYU instead. A dedicated New Yorker (who never wanted any part of L.A.), many believe this is why he was shunned at the Oscars® for so many years. Backing up that argument, another die-hard New Yorker was the recently deceased Sydney Lumet, who never won an Oscar® after directing these classics: Network, 12 Angry Men, The Verdict, Equus, Dog Day Afternoon, Serpico, The Pawnbroker, Murder on the Orient Express. [He'll be the subject of a later Best 10 Films post..]

An interesting early film of Marty's is Boxcar Bertha.. starring Barbara Hershey, apparently it's based on a true story. "America in the 30's was a free country" - that's because nobody had any money left anyway.

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