Friday, March 12, 2010
FILM TWO: "Gangs of New York" (2002)
Though it's tempting to forget it now the fact is that if this Scorcese effort had landed a Best Picture Oscar then we'd all be singing its praise. Nonetheless, time has been kind to its vision. Sure, the design now seems a bit cartoonish and the writing scripted too tightly for significance but amid all this lies some of the best acting done by all principals involved. Jack Nicholson may have cost Daniel Day-Lewis an Oscar but as Bill Cutting he is in his element...it's a seminal performance. The ever excellent Jim Broadbent plays the sleezy politician (Mr. Tweed) and even Leonardo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz shine uniformly.
Of course, this is a Scorcese film so it questions its own motives even as it invites examination of 19th century America: what is stood for and how it went about achieving its immortality. As well as how quickly all that can be dissolves in the space of a mere few minutes.