When I told my husband the title I conceived for my homage to the great Martin Scorsese, he smirked and muttered that I sounded like one of those news anchor people who make little witty titles for segments… well, yeah… so, so what?… I’m funny how, I mean funny like I’m a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I’m here to f*ckin’ amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny?
I’m sorry, but as much as I agree with many of the nominations and awards lauded to Hollywood darlings by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences , I feel that Martin should have been “made” that year… twenty plus Oscar years ago.
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Ironically, I was but fifteen at the time Goodfellas, the movie, came out. I was too busy to see it because I was scrawling in my diary everyday after school and pining over boys. Grant it, I was also underage to see it in the theaters, not that that would have stopped me– I’m sure I could have arranged to sneak in and see it with my older brother, but the thought never occurred to me. It was only years later that I stumbled upon what is now my favorite movie– in my many hours spent of my lifetime watching film, after film, after film. No wonder Goodfellas is ranked 97% on the Tomatometer.
I want to say some former boyfriend got me to watch it while we tipped down alcoholic beverages in steady succession… and I want to say there was a black light in the room glowing the free-spirited revelry had by all. College. Ah, good times, good times. Ever since then, I’d like to think I have a little extra Karen Hill in me. Whenever I’m in a mood, I like to watch my DVD of Goodfellas and get my angst out eating salty-bad-for-you-preservative-saturated popcorn and yell at the screen in time with all the gangsters and goons in the film. I liken it to cleaning out the system, like sniffing cayenne pepper does to relieve sinus headaches (that really works, by the way). It’s like punching a brick wall a few times, but at the end of the two and half hours my knuckles aren’t bloody from hitting mortar. But I do need to chase down that sodium explosion of popcorn with a lot of water… or if I’m in a bigger mood, a glass of Chianti.
Ray Liotta’s narration laced over the film (in the voice of Henry Hill) reads like an angry inner-monologue that we all hear in our heads on Monday morning when we are trudging to work like ” … an average nobody… get(ting) to live the rest of my life like a schnook.” I think that’s why the film gets my blood boiling: it reads like an anthem to the little guy or gal that doesn’t get noticed. And who doesn’t want to go off on their boss, from time to time, with the pistol-whipping wit of Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci’s character). Not that I advocate violence in any form, but Goodfellas is unmatched by any other film in it’s unlying angst to all of life’s bullsh*t. And hey, it does carry a moral code drenched in practicality with the immortal line uttered by Robert DeNiro’s Jimmy Conway:
“Never rat on your friends and always keep your mouth shut.”
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So, back to Scorsese (umm, yeah I did mean for this to be about him)– I’m appreciative that he eventually earned that directorial Oscar for “The Departed.” It was about time. It was about f*ckin’ time. But, seriously, that should have been his second Oscar after winning it first for Goodfellas.
Eh… forget about it.