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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

question of the day: What are your favorite Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio movies, together or separately?

If the weekend box office estimates hold once the final numbers are released later today, it looks like Shutter Island earned a little over $40 million since it opened on Friday. That estimate would have to shift downward by more than $10 million — which won’t happen, of course; estimates aren’t usually off by more than a million bucks or so — to change the fact that this is the biggest opening ever for both Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese, separately and together.

In other words, a lot of people liked this propect of this movie enough to check it out in huge numbers. Was it Scorsese’s reputation as a filmmaker? DiCaprio’s as an actor? Looking back through their filmographies, there certainly are lots of intriguing movies there.

What are your favorite Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio movies, together or separately?
You’ll find Scorsese’s filmography here, and DiCaprio’s here. And a reminder: Shutter Island is their fourth film together; previously they’ve made The Departed, The Aviator, and Gangs of New York.

My favorite Scorsese movie, easily, is Goodfellas. (The members of the OFCS recently jointly chose this as our favorite Scorsese movie, too, though we chose only from his narrative films, and didn’t include his documentaries.) DiCaprio is tougher, but I’d probably pick either Titanic or Romeo + Juliet.

Your turn…

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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  • Separately, well I agree with “Goodfellas” for Scorsese but would have to go for “This Boy’s Life” for DiCaprio. But together for me it is “The Aviator” a truly masterful movie.

  • LaSargenta

    Scorsese: It is a really hard call for me, but I prefer Taxi Driver to GoodFellas. My mother would definately say Raging Bull.

    Even though it is considered a crap movie, I frequently remember bits of Bringing Out The Dead and remember it fondly and will have to see it again one day (I saw it in the theater) to figure out why.

    DiCaprio: I can’t say I have ever liked him particularly in anything except, perhaps, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. I know that obviously lots of talented people would disagree with me; but, I really can’t stand his acting/method/whatever you call it.

  • Pollas

    Together my favorite would have to be The Departed (though The Aviator was great, too). Separately for Scorcese it would be Casino. For Leonardo DiCaprio without Scorcese it would have to be Catch Me If You Can.

  • Kate

    Favorite Scorsese: tie between The Departed and The Aviator

    Favorite DiCaprio: Titanic

  • Favorite Scorsese: GoodFellas and After Hours
    Favorite DiCaprio: What’s Eating Gilbert Grape

    I’ve liked their collaborations a lot–working with Scorsese so often has kept DiCaprio away from the one-dimensional heartthrob pit that Hollywood was trying to push him into after Titanic.

  • Ann

    Favorite Scorsese: Kundun.
    Favorite DiCaprio: Blood Diamond.
    Together: Gangs of New York.

  • Lisa

    For Scorsese, it would be Goodfellas or King of Comedy.

    For Leo, it would be Gilbert Grape – I thought he gave an astonishing performance in that.

    Together, I don’t really like their stuff. Leo doesn’t really do it for me, there’s something quite arrested development about him. I can’t take him seriously as a man.

  • I find most of Scorsese’s movies to be the type of films that are easy for me to admire in terms of craftsmanship but not so easy for me to relate to on an emotional basis. In essence, they seem like good movies but not necessarily the type of movies I would choose to watch voluntarily which might explain why I’ve seen only a few such movies all the way through.

    Maybe it’s a Latin thing. After all, more than a few scenes in Raging Bull and Mean Streets reminded me of many of the Latino relatives I knew while I was growing up and of the blue-collar environment in which many of them lived. And no, I don’t say that because I know any Latino boxers, loansharks or gangsters but I do know people who, despite being Latino, seem very close to the type of Italian-Americans one sees in a typical Scorsese film. And, while normally I’d consider that a plus, a lot of the issues that appear in Scorsese films often cut closer to the emotional bone than I normally expect.

    Anyway, the one Scorsese movie I’ve seen thus far that I come closest to relating to is Mean Streets. True, I’ve only seen bits and pieces of it but the parts I saw made me more eager to see the whole thing–despite the obvious downbeat ending–than the scenes I’ve seen from, say, Taxi Driver or Raging Bull.

    It’s tempting to blame MS‘s status on the fact that it’s one of the few Scorsese film I watched in the company of my late father but I also saw Goodfellas and Casino in his company as well. And of the three, MS is the only one I’d voluntarily re-watch.

    As for DiCaprio, I hate to sound like a cliche but I would have to say Titanic is the one film he’s been in that I like a lot.

  • Terry

    Lisa echoes my own feelings about DiCaprio with respect to”arrested development”,etc. So, naturally, he was perfect in “Gilbert Grape”. I always felt that he was the weakest link in “Titanic”. For me,it wasn’t until “Blood Diamond” and in particular “The Departed” that I was able to give over to more-or-less complete suspension of disbelief. Having seen most of his films, I’ll tick “The Departed” as his best performance to date, which would also be my pick for the Scorsese/DiCaprio film. Scorsese sans Leo: “Goodfellas”, so perfectly realized, would have to get the nod (though I can certainly recall, in my yout’, savoring the edgy, radical brilliance of “Taxi Driver”).



  • Christine

    For Scorsese, Goodfellas. I’m not that fond of DiCaprio, though. I think he worked better as a callow youth. I agree with the arrested development theory mentioned above.

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