All posts for Movies in December 2020


Movies: Goodfellas

One of the greatest of American films generally, and certainly the most incisive and insightful one about the criminal life.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020-12-29 12:00:00 No comments


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As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster. To me, being a gangster was better than being President of the United States.

Fitting that in 2020, when I sat down to watch Goodfellas 30 years after its release, we would have a president who amounted to a mobster. Here we have, still have, one of the greatest of American films generally, and certainly the most incisive and insightful one about the criminal life, because of how it tricks us emotionally into thinking the Mafia code actually amounted to something for those who lived inside it.

Most Hollywood mob movies are about kingpins who rise and then fall: Little Caesar, Scarface (both of them), The Godfather. Goodfellas is unabashedly about a low-level guy, someone who has just enough of a taste of the life to enjoy it, but who will never rise very far -- presumably because he's half-Irish and half-Italian, but really because of his urges to shirk the disciplines of the mob world. He never rises very high, but he he still has a long way to fall.

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Tags: Joe Pesci Lorraine Bracco Martin Scorsese Ray Liotta Robert de Niro movies organized crime review


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