Directed by: Martin Scorcese
Starring: Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco
Oscars (winners in bold): Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay
Why this made the list: This is bound to be my most controversial pick yet for overrated movies so let’s get one thing straight right out of the gate, I like the movie ‘Good Fellas.’ Martin Scorcese is possibly my favorite director of all time and I think this is a fine movie. Whew. Now that that is out of the way, let’s talk about why this movie is overvalued.
First of all, Joe Pesci won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and, as if often the case, it wasn’t even his finest role. That belongs to his performance in ‘Raging Bull’ another Scorcese movie. If you ask me, I think it’s possible that this award was simply from the Academy realizing they messed up, which often happens. Next, it’s hard to turn a book into a movie, but Scorcese’s use of narration in this movie detracts a little bit from the overall experience. Instead of focusing on character development and motivations with the voice over, he is mostly concerned with hashing out the details of their criminal activities. As we can all see the crimes they are committing this seems redundant and doesn’t add as much to the movie as more effort spent on developing these characters and relationships would.
Finally, as well made as this movie is, as well acted as it is, as well written as it is, it still misses the point I feel. The Godfather was great not because it chronicled the crimes of a mob family, but it chronicled the family itself that happened to make their living by “unusual” means, which is far more intriguing. This movie truly could have been great had it decided to focus on the relationship of these three friends as they rose in their mafia organization. Scorcese spends a decent amount of time in this area but ultimately gets too bogged down in the details of their actions as opposed to their motivations. That, to me, is why this made the list.