Movie fans have become divided on Martin Scorsese in recent times. Some say he’s never lost his touch, while others argue his best days are two decades behind him. Most will agree on the quality of 1990’s Goodfellas, a mob epic based on the true story of gangster turned informant Henry Hill. Scorsese draws on his vast knowledge of cinema to create a gripping and exciting epic. Often copied, but never equalled, Goodfellas plays in a restored print at both the Irish Film Institute and the Lighthouse all this week.
Natalie Portman is the favourite to take home the Best Actress Oscar for her role in Jackie. I’m not entirely sold on her performance, but the movie is certainly the week’s must see new release. It follows Jacqueline Kennedy in the days following her husband’s assassination, and the great Chilean director Pablo Larrain approaches the material from an outsider’s perspective, refusing to indulge in the sort of sycophancy you might expect from an American filmmaker.
Is there any more frustrating filmmaker than M Night Shyamalan? After returning to form with 2015’s bare-bones found footage thriller The Visit, he’s been given a relatively big budget again for Split, and the result is the worst movie of his career. An exploitative and mean-spirited story of mental illness and the threat of sexual violence, this one leaves a nasty taste in the mouth.
The upcoming Hollywood remake of cult Japanese anime Ghost in the Shell has drawn much criticism for its casting of Scarlett Johansson in the lead role, rather than an Asian actress. You can catch the 1995 original this Wednesday at the Lighthouse.
By Eric Hillis of themoviewaffler.com