There is an immediate change of pace with Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974) Again, it feels as if Scorsese is discovering himself as a director here, as the lens changes, and the perspective shifts from his usual storytelling. Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore is Martin Scorsese’s first, true studio film. Meaning, this film was his first where he has given the ability to build a proper set under the production studio’s budget. Putting Columbia Pictures’ sound stage aside, this is “a complete departure from the male-dominated worlds of Scorsese’s autobiographical films” (Christie and Thompson 49). This time, Scorsese puts a woman as the lead role.
Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore follows the protagonist, Alice, who is recently widowed and traveling on the road with her young son, in search of a different life. I consider this film to be somewhat of a character study of a single mother living in America. The mother and son struggle on the road; Alice looks for jobs from state-to-state as men interfere and make it all that more difficult. Scorsese gets soft here! Between the love story between Alice and deceiving men, and the love story of a mother and child…Scorsese’s tone here is mild. If you are looking for the excitingly paced, crime films with dollops of violence that Scorsese usually offers… this film is not for you, but I would not let that fool you!
Although Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore is not the most explosive film, it is a great watch! Ellen Burstyn, who plays Alice, gives a spectacular and sometimes heart-wrenching performance—she wins a damn Oscar for this role! And Scorsese is exploring as he has never done before. With the methodic direction of the camera, and technical approaches all designed to feel like a 1950s melodrama, this may be Scorsese’s most stylish film. CAN WE TALK ABOUT THE RED SATURATED INTRODUCTION, THAT COST $85,000 TO MAKE?!? This may not be the “Scorsese style”, but there is defiantly style… Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore is not talked about as much as it should. The story remains wholesome, while it keeps you connected and engaged with the characters.
Story/Plot – 15/20 Direction – 18/20 Acting - 18/20
Cinematography – 18/20 Score/Soundtrack – 17/20
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