I would argue that Casino is one of those tragic cases where a film passes mostly forgotten and much unappreciated. To be sure, not everyone has forgotten Casino – especially, it seems, not critics – but it strikes me that when most people think Martin Scorsese
they think Goodfellas
. I would argue that those people should be thinking Casino instead. Speaking technically, Goodfellas might take the edge by a slim margin, but for me Casino leads the pack on Scorsese gangster flicks.
This film is amazing.
The script is immaculately drafted; the film is immaculately planned. The lengthy setup works because the character and plot development is flawless. It’s almost like a documentary into how casinos work and into who these people are.
Equally as fine the script is the acting. Robert de Niro
and Joe Pesci
and Sharon Stone
are frighteningly good. Joe Pesci offers crazy mobster Pesci (and it’s awesome), but I found Stone and de Niro somehow managed to clamber over him in level of performance. If Stone’s character wasn’t so despicable she might get more credit for how superbly she plays, but it’s impossible not to love de Niro here – he is the good kid, on the right side – he never once raises his hand, even against such a demented wife.
Equally as fine as the script and the acting is the direction. Scorsese is in his zenith here. His storytelling style works perfectly. The way he moves the camera is spectacular. He is among the few that have earned the ability to make such a long film – three hours long – because of his storytelling prowess. This is a great, convincing, legitimate tale, passionately and powerfully told.
Casino is nearly perfect on every level. I love this film. It does not go under-appreciated on me.
Finally, the best verbal description of the ineptitude of a gangster: “This guy could fuck up a cup of coffee.”