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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (directed by Martin Scorsese) (released in 1974)

Martin Scorsese is a very famous director, famous for his style of making movies. His movie style was a combination of bloody violence, a lot of macho stuff, guilt and redemption (inspired by the Catholic background of his subjects) and locales based primarily in New York. However, Scorsese also shot a number of other movies, such as this movie - "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore". Released in 1974, it is one of his earlier movies, given that he shot his first full length movie in 1967 (I Call First). In 1972, Scorsese released "Boxcar Bertha" and then released "Mean Streets" soon after, and started getting noticed. He was then selected to make the next movie for the actress Ellen Burstyn, and he came up with this story of a central female character. In fact, Scorsese was selected on the basis of Francis Coppola's recommendation, to whom Ellen had gone to find a young director.
The collaboration went well, with Ellen liking the experience, calling it one of her best experiences in Hollywood. The movie recent overall positive critical acclaim, although some critics found that the story had various shortcomings. The movie did win an award at the Academy Awards:
Academy Award for Best Actress - Ellen Burstyn (won)
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress - Diane Ladd (nominated)
Academy Award For Best Original Screenplay - Robert Getchell (nominated)

The movie is the story of the adventures of a widow in her thirties, along with that of her pre-teen son as they move from her married town in New Mexico to her hometown of Monterey, California. Life changes for housewife Alice Hyatt when her trucker husband Donald dies in an accident, and she decides to try and resume the singing career she gave up when she married. She decides to leave, has a garage sale, and heads off towards Monterey. However, she has to temporarily halt in Phoenix Arizona and take up a job as a lounge singer since she is out of money. She has an affair with a younger man named Ben, when she sees the violent nature of Ben; Ben beats up his wife when the wife confronts Alice. Alice quickly departs along with her son Tommy.
She is still out of money, so accepts a job as a waitress in Tuscon to earn more money for their trip. She starts warming to the diners where she is a waitress, and also meets the divorced rancher David, who soon realizes that getting to be with Alice means that he should try to get close to Tommy first. Does this relationship succeed ? What about her wishes for her singing career ?

Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (directed by Martin Scorsese) (released in 1974)

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