Directed by Martin Scorsese
Had this movie stuck with its original release date of early October, this would probably be the film that I would be rooting for to take home the gold on Oscar night. But since it got delayed until this past weekend, I’m gonna have to wait over a year to see if I still feel as strongly about it as I do right now.
Here’s the thing. I dislike Leonardo DiCaprio. At least that is, I did dislike Leonardo DiCaprio. Yes, I’m one of those people who still can’t wipe the disgusting taste that was “Titanic” from my mouth. I’ve been told many times that this makes me a film snob. My only response to that is, if that’s the one thing that makes me a film snob, then I’ll live with it. I just don’t like that movie. I’m sorry. But we all know James Cameron is better than that, and that, more than any other reason, is why the film irks me so. So, I found DiCaprio guilty by association. (Which I’m willing to admit to as being unfair.) Then he started teaming up with Scorsese and this started to worry me even more. First came “Gangs of New York” which, while decent, was a far cry away from Marty’s better films. Then came “Aviator” which I still have yet to see, but will have to get around to soon at some point. Finally came “The Departed”, and yes that movie was awesome. With that film DiCaprio finally redeemed himself in my eyes for the celluloid sin that he helped create those many years ago. So by the time “Shutter Island” started getting publicized, for the first time in my life, I was really looking forward to a film that starred Leonardo DiCaprio. It didn’t disappoint.
Okay, now that the sidebar is over, onto the film. I’m just gonna come right out and say it, I like this film more than “The Departed”. I’m not gonna say it’s my favourite Scorsese film, but I will say that it’s in the running. I’m a sucker for horror films, and not only horror films, but psychological horror films. And films set in the 1950’s. And Mark Ruffalo. And I’m starting to become a sucker for Emily Mortimier. So you see, this film has everything going for it. Not only does it possess a star that is finally coming into his own and becoming the legend that many people have believed he would one day become, but it also has absolutely stunning cinematography, and heart-pounding use of sound and music. I still get goosebumps thinking about the opening dolly through the prison gates with the music pounding through the speakers. And the dream sequences are of the top-tier quality that they could easily be found in any one of David Lynch’s better films.
Sitting through this movie, you can tell that everyone involved had a lot of fun trying to think up of interesting and creative ways to make a horror film. And in my experience those make for some of the funnest films to watch as well. When Scorsese and DiCaprio started their partnership the better part of a decade ago now, I would have given anything to make them stop. Now, I pray that they don’t. Play it again, boys.