Casino ★★★★½

PART OF "Martin Scorsese RANKED" :) 

Ranks alongside Oliver Stone’s JFK as one of the hardest editing jobs imaginable somehow executed with practically perfect precision, alternately streamlining, smashing and scattering a ridiculous amount of scenes, sensations and stylistic effects without ever losing momentum or melancholy. That last word is the key to unlocking why Casino works better for me than crowd-favourite GoodFellas, which is a wildly entertaining movie but perhaps too easily so. This 1995 follow-up may feel like the fastest three hours of your life, but they’re also uncomfortable ones, infusing even its early moments of towering glory with an air of impending collapse. Much of the wall-to-wall, past-tense narration plainly indicates the inevitable downfall to come, while the opening flash-forward of an exploding car hangs over everything that comes after (or before), and the crew crafts several sad, soul-stirring moments (the music from Godard’s Contempt over the 50/50 meeting in the desert). Perhaps even more remarkable is that the film manages to be wickedly funny without ever muddying that crucial sense of melancholy, scattering moments of impeccably-timed humour at just the right moments (the blueberries!). If the writing for Sharon Stone’s Ginger was as thoughtful and refined as everything else, this could have been Scorsese’s opus. 9.5/10 

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