I have no confidence in AMPAS to give Marty his (well deserved) Oscar, for this or any other picture. He has a better chance to win director this year, IMO. But having seen the Acdemy snub Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Age of Innocence and Goodfellas...who knows what they'll do. There are no sure things for Marty. There are far more great films that didn't win best pic than there are great films that did.
(BTW, I'm wondering if Phantom of the Opera is a dead issue as far as major awards - no critic love thatt I can see. other than David Poland.)
I'm looking forward to Aviator - I *am* a Scorsese fan, and I appreciate hearing your persepctive. I'm hoping The Aviator is the big, bold crowd pleaser cum critical success Scorsese wants so badly.
Mr. Scorsese is probably the only director that I really want to see have a critical/financial success, because I think he is the only director that appears to have a real passion for movies in general. He comes off as someone who in no way expects that the audience owes him anything for being who he is, a rare thing in that particular industry.
I think it has every chance to be, and I sure hope he'll be recognized for it because you just can't pull off an epic of the magnitude of THE AVIATOR without being at the zenith of your powers as a director.
Does anybody else find that guy extremely cynical and picky? I read his reviews, but that's because I just like reading movie reviews rather than because I find his "style" of reviewing entertaining, intelligent, and/or informative. I find his writing very cliche, lacking a unique voice or passion, and he also seems to like giving bad reviews to certain movies just to be different when everyone else is praising them (ie Ray).
While I am not particularly a fan of Scorsese, I do at least enjoy a few of his films and regognize him as someone truly interested in the furthering of the craft. Still, this statement is seriously short sighted. There are many, many directors who have a profound passion for film. It's just that not many of them have as big a name as Scorsese. People like Atom Egoyan, Keith Gordon, Pedro Almodóvar (there is no greater proponent of film) and Tom Tykwer come immediately to mind.
Nope. I enjoy James B's reviews. While I don't always share his opinions ( and frankly it would be a miracle if any reviewer could satisfy that criteria ) I do get some value from his insights and generally can judge my affinity to the material based upon his reviews. I try to watch most of his 3 :star: and higher films and generally find almost all of them to be worthwhile.
In terms of writing style, I find him to be too terse at times. Sometimes I feel that he brushes over his criticisms vs. really exploring them in any depth. Due to his brevity (while reading the entire review) I find myself focusing upon his closing paragraph to get a sense of the film vs. attempting to read his reviews in the same way I might read Ebert's. But that doesn't undermine the value of his reviews; especially with regard to recommended films.
The thought of it makes me drool. Scorsese works throughout the movie with changing the color and the aspect ratio. A whole section of the movie is in what looks like ultrasharp two-color Technicolor-like hues where all the greens look blue and the yellows don't exist. In some shots the color is so saturated as to evoke the tones of three-strip Technicolor. But then, he simultaneously changes the aspect ratios throughout the movie, going from scope to 1.33:1 and back, to 1.85:1 and back, and so on. It's absolutely dazzling, especially in light of the filmmaking subtheme of the movie.
Much like the OP, I'm NOT a Scorcese fan. I don't like Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, or any of the other so-called classics. They just never worked for me. But I'm glad to hear that this movie was well-done and will definately make it a point to see it.
Very, very entertaining, and a prime example of how excellent acting, directing, music, and editing can gloss over occasional script problems.
I haven't seen a lot of images of Hughes, particularly when he was young, so I have no idea how visually accurate DiCaprio is (I doubt he physically looked much like him). But DiCaprio does a great job filling the screen with a vibrant, dynamic character. He's in practically every scene and really nails it.
Cate Blanchett seems to be channeling one of Hepburn's 1930s/40s screwball performances, but she likewise delivers an emphatic, entertaining and dynamic performance. Her facial structure doesn't match Hepburn's, but she eerily nails the voice, mannerisms, and postures.
As for Scorsese, he just seems to be having a blast. It's a very cinematic movie -- Scorsese at his more flamboyant; the first hour especially so.
MINOR TECHNICAL SPOILERS
It's clear Scorsese has a great love of old Hollywood, and it really comes across on screen. Keep an eye out for these; how the movie starts with the old Warner Bros. logo and a 1920s-era title; how the movie changes "film stock" according to each passing decade -- it starts off with an early two-color process (the precursor to Technicolor, I assume?) before eventually becoming full-blown TechniColor as well. (I assume the film was digitally graded rather than using each specific stock and technique).
The script still has some of the same issues that it did from the 2002 draft I read, though there are some scenes I don't recall reading that definitely improve it, and the dialogue seems snappier than I remember. But Thelma Schoonmaker's editing, Howard Shore's music, DiCaprio, et al, and Scorsese manage to work past most of the issues.
Of course, this is often the case with Scorsese. He takes average scripts, and with style and editing he creates a whole new level to the story. His films tend to be a collection of scenes/highlights...on paper, not too coherent...but, he and Schoonmaker work their magic so well.