Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Marty and Bertha

I watched Boxcar Bertha, Martin Scorsese's first commercial film for the first time in some time last night.

Now, I wasn't sure what extent what extent the fact that I'm a sucker for this weird little subgenre that I loved or it was actually a solid little movie - or even, Heaven forbid, the work of a genuine genius - that I had enjoyed so much previously. Honestly, I've gotta say this is a great little movie.

First of all, and this does only apply to the love of the genre, Barbara Hershey is hotter than she ever has been since... Not in a way you can be proud to be lusting after. She was 24, but she looks maybe 15.

Otherwise, it's got a lot of very crafty cinematic elements and clever use of lighting to highlight the drama, a script that's much stronger than most of the genre and really terrific acting. While I've read a lot reviews dismissing this as merely a potboiler and not relevant to Scorsese's greater body, I don't think that's a fair assessment. I think a lesser filmmaker could have used those actors and that script and made a perfectly serviceable and entertaining film, but this is definitely something more.

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