Goodfellas – 10/10

Forget The Godfather. This is the don of gangster movies.


What is possibly most startling about Goodfellas is that almost 25 years on and following many viewings it not only stands up but remains shocking and utterly essential viewing. Endlessly quotable, career best performances from Joe Pesci and Ray Liotta plus the excellent Paul Sorvino as imposing mob boss Paulie, and a typically outstanding turn from De Niro add up to produce not only one of the best films in this genre but quite simply one of the greatest films ever made.

It is astonishing that you could quite easily argue this is not in Scorsese‘s top three films such is the quality of his output but Goodfellas will always hold a special place in my heart as it served as an introduction to his work. As always with Scorsese’s work the attention to detail is overwhelming. Real life mobsters filled in as extras and several people involved in the real life of Henry Hill either play themselves or pop up elsewhere resulting in a film that it is easy to get lost in. As with The Wolf of Wall Street, Scorsese doesn’t have an agenda with how he presents Henry Hill, he just tells the story and lets you make your own mind up. It is one of the Oscars biggest travesty’s that Goodfellas lost out to Dances With Wolves but Pesci taking home a statue for Best Supporting Actor at least softens the blow somewhat.

Silver Linings Playbook – 10/10.

Pat Solitano leaves a mental institution and attempts to integrate himself back into normal society.


Bradley Cooper plays the protagonist  and he smashes it out of the fucking park. In any other year he whould be nailed on for a best actor Oscar, Daniel Day-Lewis will win it of course.
Jennifer Lawrence cements her reputation as the best actress working in Hollywood right now with her crushingly beautiful performance as the damaged Tiffany. In support Robert De Niro gives his best performance in years and has some of the funniest lines.
Silver Linings Playbook has many laugh out loud moments but is also heartbreaking and up lifting, touching on mental health, alienation, longing, love, family, how sport and dance can bring people together and people’s attitude to mental illness (particularly the authorities). As someone who worked in mental health for a while I felt that the issues faced by Bradley Cooper and his reaction to them were portrayed perfectly. No film has touched me on so many levels as Silver Linings Playbook has for years. It also has the most iconic dance sequence since Pulp Fiction and a great soundtrack.
Director David O. Russell has come a long way since Three Kings and it is going to be nigh on impossible for him to follow the huge success of The Fighter and now this. If you only watch one the films nominated for Best Picture at this years Oscars make it this one.