Top FilmsPosted: Sunday, September 9, 2007
We’re going to address the top films over the course of this blog (when I get to it, that’s when, dammit). But we’re going to pay special attention to films that are about (or are “said” to be about) the American Dream. Goodfellas ranks high on my list (perhaps the highest), because it is the pure American Dream: rising up from your own particular circumstances and background to reach The Heights, often through hard-work and cunning. It just so happens that Henry Hill’s hard work is in theft, beating, cheating, drug-dealing, point-shaving, murder (or at least being an accessory to murder).
Just as important, Goodfellas is also about what the American Dream has become (and may always have been) — greed, back-stabbing, paranoia. Just as one critic said Scorsese’s use of The Sex Pistol’s version of My Way as a “fuck-you” to any do-gooding American, Goodfella’s I see as Scorsese’s “fuck-you” to the American Dream; much as the same way as HBO’s The Wire is an update and a “true” vision of the modern American Dream.