Scorsese's body of work addresses such themes as Italian-American identity, Roman Catholic concepts of guilt and redemption, machismo, and the violence endemic in American society. Although he has received much critical acclaim he has never won an Academy Award despite numerous nominations. Scorsese is widely considered one of the most significant and influential of post-war American film makers.
My list of the best Scorsese Movies
- Taxi Driver:
Travis is horrified by what he considers the moral decay around him, and when Iris, a year-old child prostitute, gets in his cab one night to escape her pimp, Travis becomes obsessed with saving her despite her complete lack of interest in the idea, explaining that she was "stoned" when she tried to escape, and that her pimp, Matthew a.k.a Sport (Keitel), appears to be a kind and caring person. Travis then tries to convince her to return home to her parents and go back to school, but his efforts to save her are futile.
- Raging Bull:
Robert De Niro won the Academy Award for Best Actor, his first for a leading role (and only, to date). The film also won the Academy Award for Best Editing for Thelma Schoonmaker, whose revolutionary style was far different from fight scenes in other boxing films, such as the Rocky series. Raging Bull was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Sound, Best Director, and Best Picture.
Henry also meets and falls in love with Karen (Lorraine Bracco), a young woman whose spunk and personality interest him deeply, on a group date with Tommy and his girlfriend. The next night, he stands her up, only to be confronted by an angry Karen and, as a result, becomes interested in her no-nonsense attitude. This results in him taking her to the Copacabana club (mostly known for the famous steady-cam shot that flows beautifully through the bowels of the club and onto the main floor) two to three times a week. Although there is conflict between the families because Karen's parents are Jewish and Hill is half-Irish and half-Italian.
- The Aviator:
The movie also details Hughes' romances with Ava Gardner and Katharine Hepburn, and his battles with Pan Am's Juan Trippe, who allegedly bribed Maine senator Owen Brewster into granting Pan Am a coercive monopoly on international registered air travel. Hughes admits to having Congressmen in his pocket, too, which he did in real life.
Scorsese's direction by now was highly accomplished, using jump cuts, expressionist lighting, point of view shots and slow motion to reflect the protagonist's heightened psychological awareness. However Taxi Driver's immense power was due in part to Robert De Niro's intense lead performance. The film co-starred Jodie Foster in a highly controversial role as a child prostitute, and Harvey Keitel as her pimp, Sport Matthew.
Andrew Lau, the co-director of Infernal Affairs, who was interviewed by Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily on October 9, 2006, said Of course I think the version I made is better, but the Hollywood version is pretty good too. Scorsese made the Hollywood version more attuned to American culture. Many Asians see the reason for a Hollywood version as necessary because of Hollywood and American's aversion to seeing Asian males in dramatic, non-stereotypical roles. Andy Lau, one of the main actors in Infernal Affairs, when asked about how the movie compares to the original, said: The Departed was too long and it felt as if Hollywood had combined all three Infernal Affairs movies together.