Tag Archives: Raging Bull

The Best Picture Project — The Departed, dir. by Martin Scorsese (2006)

Departed234.jpgDirected by Martin Scorcese

Screenplay by William Monahan, based on the film Infernal Affairs

Starrring Leonardo Dicaprio, Matt Damno, Jack Nicholson, Vera Farmiga, Ray Winstone, Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen and Mark Wahlberg

Martin Scorsese should have an Oscar – Martin Scorsese should have a fistful of Oscars.  A fistful in both hands.  He is a legend of cinema, with talent enough that he can hop genres and eras with relative ease, making his style fit them all, no matter how disparate then may be.  Better, he’s been consistently good for more than four decades, without the flameout in quality you get from many other so-called legends.[1]  Add to that he’s a student of film and treats it legitimately, and reverently, as art, and you can see why he should have more Oscars than he know what to do with.

But he doesn’t have more Oscars than he knows what to do with – he only has the one.  Not for directing Raging Bull or Goodfellas, but as director of The Departed.

Let me ask you a question – which is worse: Continue reading

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The Best Picture Project — 12 Years A Slave (2013)

Directed by Steve McQueen

Written by John Ridley, based upon the memoir by Solomon Northup

Starring Chiwetel Ejiofer, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o, Sarah Paulson, Benedict Cumberbatch and Brad Pitt

When Argo won Best Picture of 2012, I had the distinct thought that AMPAS finally got it right.  That after all the years of giving the Oscar to the wrong film – anybody want to talk about Crash? – and despite the slight backlash against Argo for its changes to the story to make it more cinematic, AMPAS stood strong and did the right thing.

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The Best Picture Project – A Beautiful Mind (2001)

Directed by Ron Howard

Written by Akiva Goldsman, based on the Sylvia Nasar book

Starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Josh Lucas and Paul Bettany

Not all that long ago I covered the awful 2000 film Gladiator for the Best Picture Project and mentioned I thought Russell Crowe won an Oscar for the wrong film.  Usually the Academy gets it wrong and honors an actor (or director) for some lesser work later in the career, usually to make up for overlooking them earlier in their career.  Think about Al Pacino winning for Scent of a Woman but going empty-handed for everything he did in the 70s; Martin Scorcese taking gold for The Departed and not Taxi Driver, Raging Bull or Goodfellas; or Kate Winslet winning for The Reader despite previously being overlooked for Little Children and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.  These are but three, but the list goes on. Continue reading

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The Best Picture Project – The Great Ziegfeld (1936)

Directed by Robert Z. Leonard,

Screenplay by William Anthony McGuire

Starring William Powell, Luise Rainer, Frank Morgan and Myrna Loy

For the first time in this series – in what is my 50th post in this series – we start with a quiz.  From the list below, find the outlier and tell me why it’s the outlier:

2005 – Brokeback Mountain

1990 – Goodfellas

1982 – ET

1980 – Raging Bull Continue reading

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The Best Picture Project – Rocky (1976)

Rocky (1976)

Directed by John G. Avildsen

Written By Sylvester Stallone

Starring Sylvester Stallon, Talia Shire, Carl Weathers, Burgess Meredith

It’s a normal human trait to procrastinate. Why do today what can be done tomorrow, the more unpleasant the better? Take out the garbage? Clean the litter box? Tell the kids you love them? There’s always tomorrow, and if not tomorrow, then the day after. This is the same quality that makes people engage in the intellectually-dishonest practice of picking out black jelly-beans from a bag of jelly-beans and throw them away, so they can avoid the putrid taste. Continue reading

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