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I remember the first time I earmarked a whole day to devour Martin Scorsese films, it was a formative experience of my teenage years which also set the groundwork for my total obsession with cinema. I'm not alone when I say that Marty's films are some of the best pieces of art humanity has to offer. I mean, can any film actually top 'The Departed'? Cue laughter-soundtrack there, that's a joke, my friends! Of course, it can't. But let's make this clear right off the bat - nothing that I'm about to say diminishes Scorsese's legacy as one of the greatest directors in the history of, well, history. Yet, if you dig into his filmography and poke around a little, there may be one misstep that you can single out. To be more precise, let me ask this; What was Martin Scorsese's biggest mistake?
When Romance Turned Sour
Delving into his repertoire of films, there's one that sticks out among Scorsese's magnificent mob-centric dichotomy, and that is, folks, 'The Age of Innocence'. A period piece, set in the late 19th century, about the elite New York society, whisked away from the flashes of gunfights and mob rivalries that have become synonymous with Scorsese. While the soundtrack was fantastic, the sets and costumes, impeccable, the movie felt...off. We usually revel in Scorsese's apt skills to expose the underbelly of gritty mankind, expose the morally ambiguous nature of human machinations, but 'The Age of Innocence' felt strangely detached.
The Art of Being Off-Genre
On paper, 'The Age of Innocence' seemed like a welcome departure from Scorsese's comfort zone. But comfort zones are comfort zones for a reason, they're where our core strengths lie and where we typically perform the best. The movie seemed to require a finesse, a tender touch that seemed difficult for Marty to muster. Even with the charismatic Daniel Day-Lewis, talented Michelle Pfeiffer, and doe-eyed Winona Ryder, the movie couldn't entirely find its footing. Sure, it was nominated for five Academy Awards, but to me and some others, it just didn’t quite fit the Scorsese canon.
This Feeling Seems Familiar
I'll let you in on a little secret here - it reminded me of a disastrous date I had years ago. Just like 'The Age of Innocence', I was off my genre, completely disarmed and out of my element. I figured a night at a world-class wine tasting event would impress my date. You see, I imagined myself to be Daniel Day-Lewis of the night - sophisticated, charming, all peculiarities in place. But really, I was more akin to Robert De Niro from 'Mean Streets' - out of place, perplexed and, in the end, slightly nauseous from too much experimental wine tasting. Needless to say, that relationship didn't evolve into a multi-sequel franchise. This situation, amusingly, is similar to Scorsese's attempt at branching out into the unfamiliar genre of period-romance drama.
Accepting and Learning from Mistakes
But if cinema history has taught us anything, it's to accept and learn from the blunders. 'The Age of Innocence' wasn't a failure - it was a bright red flag indicating the boundaries of Scorsese's expertise. Even the most proficient players sometimes hit the wrong note. But hey, it's these very notes that make for an interesting melody, isn't it? Since 'The Age of Innocence', Scorsese has pretty much held fast to his forte, crafting masterpieces like 'The Departed', 'Shutter Island', and 'The Wolf of Wall Street'. And while we're speaking of those, here's a fun fact - 'The Wolf of Wall Street' holds the record for the most cases of the F-word in a movie, coming in at a whopping 506 times. Now, that's vintage Scorsese - raw, unfiltered, and spectacularly entertaining.
But remember, he's a titan of the industry, an unrivalled artist who painted the face of cinema with profundity and grit. And just like any painting, it's the imperfections that often lend the most character. And as such, 'The Age of Innocence' is not a black mark but rather a broad brushstroke in the unique aesthetic Martin Scorsese has created.
Hi there! My name is Caspian Harrington and I'm a blogger who specializes in entertainment, fashion, and beauty. I have a passion for writing about films, especially those that intertwine style and artistry in unique ways. With a keen eye for detail, I enjoy analyzing movie costume design and exploring the influence of fashion on the big screen. Join me as I dive into the cinematic world and share my thoughts on everything from classic films to the latest blockbusters.