Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974)
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I knew the sitcom Alice was based on a movie (with Vic Tayback also as Mel), but I didn't realize it was s relatively small part of the early Scorsese movie, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore! Well, the diner stuff does have its laughs, but what's most engaging - and perhaps I'm coming at it through my own experience as the child of a struggling single mother - is the mother-son relationship. Ellen Burstyn is wonderful as the mom who sort of pals around with her 11-year-old because that's just who they are. So often in movies, parents and kids fall into the roles of, well, parents and kids, but the truth is, relationships are more varied and complex than that. You can already see young Scorsese developing his style here, with his very mobile camera (well, he'd just done Mean Streets, he was a winner out of the gate), but the style never distracts from the film's truthfulness, it just makes it more immediate. Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore isn't a movie magic Wonderland. Plot threads get cut off when Alice races out of town, the kid is believably annoying, ambitions have to be dosed with reality, and the man of your dreams is perhaps just "good enough". It's a world where a parking lot doubles as the beach because that's what real life is sometimes.
A very compelling "true-to-life" film. Scorsese has accomplished something very unique here.
I like this movie more now since I am older than I did in 1974.
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In 4 official lists
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This movie ranks #12 in The New York Times's Book of Movies
This movie ranks #30 in BAFTA Award - Best Film
This movie ranks #239 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films: 1001-2000
This movie ranks #321 in Halliwell's Top 1000: The Ultimate Movie Countdown