Goodfellas - Trailer - (1990) - HQ
I first want to start off and say that no movie has better imagery. Bold opinion to write down. (And of course maybe my opinion will change when the sequel to tenet comes out.) The camera work is fantastic. And what I mean specifically when I say that is that the camera movement is pulled off masterfully. To an untrained eye, it's hardly noticeable when the camera is zooming in as it dollies out. Or that the sequence where Ray Liotta and Lorraine Bracco are at the Copacabana is opened with a flawless one-shot. It's all just beautiful. The cinematography is made even better by the production design. Because what good is well-executed camerawork if there isn't a beautiful setting to capture? What I like of the production design is the use of warm tones that often contrast with the neutral or dark outfits that the mob bosses are wearing.
What pairs nicely with a film that is visually appealing?
A good story!
A story that introduced us to a world we rarely see. Unless that is exactly the world you are part of, then you get to see yourself on screen! How cool! The script does a good job of explaining what exactly is so intoxicating about the lifestyle and not just from the eyes of the main character. And through catharsis, the audience can live that exciting life for two hours and twenty six minutes. And then go to sleep that night soundly knowing that police helicopters aren't looming over them. Scorsese assembled a great cast of actors to pull this story off. If you go to the Goodfellas IMDB, there's some really interested trivia there like "According to Henry Hill, whose life was the basis for the book and film, Joe Pesci's portrayal of Tommy DeSimone was 90-99% accurate, with one notable exception; the real Tommy DeSimone was massively built." Highly recommend you check it out!
Yes this is a film about gangsters, but at the core this film really revolves around complicated family relationships:
Some would say the Paul Thomas Anderson handles this subject expertly. And he does. However, I feel like not enough credit is due toward Scorsese. Families and broken families at that seem to be a common string throughout his films from Goodfellas to The Departed to Hugo. Complicated family relationships are a topic Scorsese seems to frequently grapple with and he shows it in different ways to this day.
What would enrich your viewing experience?
10 years before Goodfellas was released, Scorsese premiered another film: Raging Bull. And perhaps you can appreciate Goodfellas more by watching how the filmmaker grew as an artist over time yet seeing the elements which stayed consistent. Raging bull has similar camera movement yet the film is shot mostly in black and white. The story in Raging Bull is also told retrogressively. Much like Goodfellas, Raging Bull is based on a true story. It stars Robert De Niro as well!