This was one of those movies that I’d always meant to watch and just never had. I finally watched it for the first time a few weeks ago and I was completely blown away. It’s no wonder it was added to the National Film Registry the first year it was eligible. It’s just so eloquently simple and yet about this completely horrid person. Perhaps the real Jake La Motta found some redemption with the people in his life, but in this film he finds it only within himself. I think this is Scorsese’s best film. I know I said that about Goodfellas a few months ago; but I hadn’t seen this film then. Raging Bull was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning two: Best Sound, Best Cinematography, Best Editing (won), Best Supporting Actress – Cathy Moriarty, Best Supporting Actor – Joe Pesci, Best Actor – Robert De Niro (won), Best Director and Best Picture. It was up again Coal Miner’s Daughter, The Elephant Man, Tess and winner Ordinary People.
Originally when I was going to write about 1990, I was going to write about Ghost because I really love that film and it always fascinates me that it was nominated for Best Picture. Then I watched Goodfellas and discovered that Ray Liotta was NOT nominated for his stellar performance in it and there was just no way I couldn’t write about how wrong that I think that is. I haven’t seen a lot of Scorsese’s films, but I’ve seen a good deal, and this is my favorite of those I’ve seen. I also think it’s his finest film, I say this having not seen Raging Bull and I know that that film is often heralded as his best. Goodfellas was nominated for six Academy Awards, but only won one: Best Film Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress Lorraine Bracco, Best Supporting Actor Joe Pesci (won), Best Director and Best Picture. It was up against Awakenings, Ghost, The Godfather: Part III and winner Dances With Wolves. I’ve yet to see Awakenings, but of the other four, and despite my undying love for Ghost, I’d definitely say Goodfellas is the best film of the group.