This has perhaps been my toughest Top 5 to put together as this director has a quite frankly ridiculously strong body of work. So many films were a hairs breadth from making to my list but I can say with confidence, this is my Top 5 Directors Series for the one and only Martin Scorsese.
Honourable Mention: Hugo.
A departure of sorts for Scorsese and an unabashed love letter to the dawn of the cinematic age, Hugo was a charming and engaging children’s film that deserved a lot more praise than it ever received.
5: Raging Bull.
Marking the 4th time Scorsese and DeNiro worked together, Raging Bull charts the troubled life & career of boxer Jake LaMotta. DeNiro admirably inhabits the skin of LaMotta with startling believability, playing him as super lean boxer and overweight has been, his commitment earned DeNiro a best actor Oscar.
4: The Wolf Of Wall Street.
Marking his 5th outing directing Leonardo DiCaprio, this film had a classic Scorsese feel to it. A story of greed, hubris and the inevitable fall from grace of Wall Street trader Jordan Belforte based on his book of the same name.
3: Gangs Of New York.
This story of the seldom mentioned history of New York City’s 5 Points district was divisive in critical opinion, I personally loved it. The start of Scorsese’s & DiCaprio’s working partnership although it is another who steals the show. Daniel Day Lewis shines so bright as Bill The Butcher, you need sunglasses.
2: Taxi Driver.
The top spot was always going to be hard fought for a favourite Scorsese film, this missed out by the narrowest of narrow margins. DeNiro made a career defining move in playing the part of the deeply troubled Travis Bickle, one of his finest performances.
Arguably Scorsese’s finest film, Goodfellas is an absolute masterclass in film making. Subtle things make the difference in this film, noticing that when Jimmy takes Karen to The Copacabana for the first time, it’s one long insane tracking shot, the logistics of such an undertaking are mind boggling. A cast of usual suspects and some Scorsese first timers made Goodfellas an unforgettable experience. There is a reason this always sits near the top of ‘Best film ever’ polls.