A long take truly is a thing of beauty. Like trying to spot a magician’s sleight of hand, they often leave you wondering how they’re done whilst you count along, hoping the cut won’t come. It’s a favourite of modern movie masterminds David Fincher, Paul Thomas Anderson and Brian DePalma and is often considered a demonstration of true virtuosity. But where many are based on camera trickery and computer wizardry, Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas long shot feels authentic and atmospheric whilst aiding character development.
Appropriately accompanied by ‘Then He Kissed Me’ by The Crystals, the audience feels the same wide-eyed wonder as Lorraine Bracco’s Karen: jumping the queue at the Copacabana? Check. Being bumped to the front row? Check. Being sent champers by someone who wears sunglasses indoors? Check. This is a nightly occurrence for gangster-on-the-up Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), but the stuff of dreams for any other schnook.
Not convinced? Imagine walking through the kitchen of your local Wetherspoons and see how well that goes down. How you doin’!
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Nicholas Pileggi/Martin Scorsese
STARS: Ray Liotta, Lorraine Bracco