Lenny Cantrow: I don’t mind saying, this is one of the finest meals that I’ve ever had.
Mrs. Corcoran: Oh, thank you Leonard. It’s simple, you know. Mr. Corcoran doesn’t really care for fancy food. Though, I imagine you’ve tried just about every exotic dish in New York.
Lenny Cantrow: Exactly. See, that’s the trouble, it’s exotic, but it’s not honest. I mean, it’s fancy, but it’s not real. I mean, this is honest food. There’s no lying in that beef. There’s no insincerity in those potatoes. There’s no deceit in the cauliflower. This is a totally honest meal. You don’t know what a pleasure it in this day and age to sit down and eat a meal you can believe in.
A lot has been written about this film by people who know it a lot better than I do, so I’m gonna preface this by saying what I want to do with this piece is not a full analysis of the film, but rather snippets of thoughts and ideas that ran through my head when I watched it Thursday last at the Castro Theatre. I first saw Taxi Driver when I was about 15 (I rented it on VHS and I did not tell my parents) and I don’t think I really understood what I was watching. Really, going into the screening on Thursday, all I remembered from the film was the scene where Robert De Niro takes Cybill Shepherd to the porno theater. That was the first time I ever saw porn. Needless to say, it was shocking. Believe it or not, that was the only time I’d seen the film before this last time. So I have only seen it twice now. I’m guessing it’s a movie that gets richer each time you watch it, much like my favorite Scorsese film, 1985’s criminally under-seen After Hours. I would also like to mention that 1976 is a year where I can’t really say I wish one film beat another film. For me, it’s a year where all of the nominees are so important and so different, that choosing just one seems like a disservice. Well, four of them, anyway, as I have not yet seen Bound For Glory. Although Taxi Driver won the Palm d’Or at the Cannes film festival, it received only four Academy Award nominations and failed to win in any of the categories: Best Picture, Best Actor Robert De Niro, Best Supporting Actress Jodie Foster and Best Original Score. The other films nominated for Best Picture that year were All The President’s Men, Bound For Glory, Network and winner Rocky.