Gordon McMurphy wrote:
A Howard Hughes biopic with Di Caprio? Most Leo fans must have been thinking, "Who?". The Aviator is probably his most disappointing film to me, both in concept and execution.
Really? I dunno. I quite dug the film. Is it as great as GoodFellas
? No but I think it is still quite an entertaining and engaging movie. I guess if he hadn't created such masterpieces beforehand our expectations might not be as high? It's like the Woody Allen debate that is going on in the Old Films section.
Since then, the film that he has impressed me most with, was Kundun. I love the Dalai Lama, whose life is an incredible adventure, in every sense and the care in the storytelling is beautiful. Heart and Soul filmmaking.
This film left me cold. Maybe I just didn't engage with the subject matter but it really didn't interest me at all.
He has expressed admiration for filmmakers like Hitchcock managing to make a deeply personal, psychologically complex, visually audacious film like Vertigo near the end of classic 'Studio System' and you could argue that Scorsese's career has been a striving to make personal, artful films within the modern 'Studio System', without compromising himself or his vision, with generally successful results, I would say. But throughout his career, he has had occasionallyl bow a little and make a 'mainstream' film; I won't call it 'selling out', but films like The Color of Money, Cape Fear (originally set up as a Spielberg project) were basically he made as 'favers' to execs/producers in order to get other 'real' projects financed. These two films remain fine films, however; well-crafted and exciting. He knows how to play the game, but perhaps the game is getting to rough and unsporting for him of late. Just ask Woody Allen.
The impression I'm getting as of late is that Scorsese desperately wants recognition from the Academy. Casino
felt like his first attempt at getting an Oscar. It was a big budget epic. Gangs of New York
and now The Aviator
feel even more like he's trying too hard to compromise his artistic vision in order to get Oscar recognition like his contemporaries (Spielberg, et al.) but he just doesn't seem to get it that he's the perrenial outsider. He has been for so long that I can't see him getting Oscar... maybe a lifetime achievement.
I hope that he'll stop trying to do these big budget epics and get back to something on a smaller scale. I think he probably will eventually anyway as the stress and strain is getting too much for him to keep cranking these big movies out.
Like you, I don't think he's washed up and still has some great work left in him. We shall see.