There are two reasons why I watch this film. One, its lesser known Martin Scorsese film and second it has one of finest actress Ellen Burstyn in it.
Burstyn is without doubt wonderful actress who has done few films in her career but her choice of roles perfectly matches with her impeccable performances. She had no beauty or glamour to establish herself in Hollywood. Besides she was looking like mid age actress and so she has relied more on her acting talent only. Whether its classic horror ‘The Exorcist’ or Arnofsky’s much acclaimed ‘Requiem for Dream’, she has tried to deliver complex characters on her sleeve. Here she played the role of Alice, a working confident woman who has multiple roles to perform in mid 80’s men driven middle class society of US. Soon after the death of her husband, she has a sole responsibility to play with her annoying kid for the struggle of survival. She dreamed for second chance and the film ends with hopeful ending; quite surprising from Scorsese film.
There are so many realistic scenes and dialogues one can expect from Scorsese film like- Dinner table fight between loud father and son, harassing questions asked by whining kid to her mother, emotional encounter of two individuals under intoxication in a bar or spilling water scene between mom and son.
Don’t get surprise to see Jodie Foster in child girl friend role of Burstyn’s son. Just like most of the film buffs I also used to consider ‘Taxi Driver’ as her debut film but that was released in 1976.
Recommended to all Scorsese fans but it’s more creditworthy for wonderful Burstyn.
P.S - I have just come to know from IMDB that Burstyn got Best actress Academy award for her performance in this film and Scorsese accepted award on her behalf.