I’ve decided for this evening and possibly the entire weekend to hijack the real (movie) part of Ain’t It Cool. Because for the moment I can!
Last night I attended a screening of the Aviator, which I will get to in a minute, at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Afterwards we were treated with a panel that consisted of Marty, editing goddess Thelma Schoonmaker, greatest living production designer Dante Ferretti and the first ever fully equipped effects team Scorcese has ever worked with (I think this film has more effect shots than The Matrix).
What made it really special was that Marty said it was only the second time he had seen the final cut of the film and the FIRST time he had seen it on a big screen, and at the Chinese to boot, a location that appears MANY times throughout the film. It made us all feel warm and gurgly inside. There were moments when I though to myself 'I'm sitting in the Chinese theater, watching The Aviator, seeing a sequence that takes place in the Chinese theater, with Scorcese watching it for the first time IN the Chinese Theater as well'. I think a portal to another universe opened somewhere. A portal called Cinematic-fricking-heaven.
I think I can safely say, even though I need to see this film like a bijillion more times, like today, like right now, that this is the best Scorcese film since Goodfellas, and one of my all time faves from him. This is the master sweeping in and showing all us kids how it's done. This is Marty at his tip top best and you feel his passion for film deep down in your bones.
This is also, hands down, the best thing Leo has ever had his paw prints on. Just outstanding. The dude can act and he will blow your mind, love him or hate him, he will blow your freaking mind in this movie. Cate Blanchett will win an oscar for her portrayal of Katharine Hepburn (calling it now), and even the unneccassary casting of Jude Law (can he not be in one movie?) as Erroll Flynn, which is pretty awesome, and Gwen Stefani (who has like 8 seconds of screen time...ouch) as Jean Harlow, doesn't bother me. Great casting all around.
Everyone is in this movie. So many big names. It almost became a running gag, like who's gonna be in the next scene? Marty even seemed to be having some fun with it, starting scenes with just a voice and a shot of a back and letting the audience place the voice. Wait...is that....Alec Baldwin....ha...he cast Alex Baldwin as the head of Pan Am. People were laughing, in a good way, they were having fun. The movie is plain fun, pure joy, the smile on my face must have looked rediculous throughout.
There are some sequences in this movie that will blow your mind, that will make the Goodfellas tracking shot look like dailies from Clerks. My brain couldn't decide whether to get completely wrapped up in the story or stop and go holy-crap-how-did-he-do-that? It's like Lord of the Rings in terms of effects scope. There are CG shots over models over green screen, they pulled out all the bells and whistles here and did some shit you've never seen before. Just get ready for the Hells Angels sequence. Just you get ready.
And the look of it!!! Robert Richardson wins the academy award and my heart in one fatal swoop. Not since Oh Brother, where art thou Has a films color been so wonderfully manipulated from beginning to end. The look of the film moves with the technology of the time!!! During the 1920's the film is in two strip technicolor, then ten years later moves to 3 strip technicolor, then full color after that, it's just amazing. It will blow you away, you've never seen this done before. Never. The effects team scores huge (and on the cheap too, or so they said).
The feeling you got watching Goodfellas, that you were in the best narrative hands possible, the hands of a man who loves film more than you, a man who feels such a passion for the artwork, a veritable guardian of cinema, is back in the Aviator. This is Scorcese at the top of his game, and I'm a man who loves Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore as much as Goodfellas, and while this is DEFINITELY not Alice doesn't live here Marty, this is Marty doing his Goodfellas thing and doing it at his best. The film just fucking rocks. No bones about it.
You will believe a man can fly. And then you will believe a man can go so completely nuts that he bottles his own urine. You will feel Marty's passion for the subject (even though he stated at the end that he didn't know much about Howard Huges before he began filming). Hughes' story is so damn amazing that you'll be shocked it hasn't been made before, and they you'll realize you're glad Scorcese got a crack at it first, cuz he nailed it. It never needs to be told again (the first part of his life at least).
Just take a deep breath and know that one of the greatest directors is
to release one of his greatest films in two weeks. It's the best
gift any of us could ask for. You will become obsessed with this movie.
just wonderful. Pure. Fucking. Joy. Mazel Tov, Marty.