I was interested in watching this film because I love Scorsese’s’ recent work and wanted to view some of his earlier films. This film takes place in the 70’s, it is about a woman, Alice, and her son Tommy. The film illustrates the style of movie making during the age of New Hollywood which was an innovative time for cinema. New Hollywood cinema expressed complex narrative themes, more adult orientated subject matters, and showed women in more independent and dominant roles.
The film begins with the family living in suburban New Mexico. When Alice’s husband dies they are forced to move out of their house due to financial reasons. Alice decides to drive to Monterey to become a singer, which has been her passion since she was young. Alice gave up her dreams after getting married because her husband didn’t like the idea of his wife singing at saloons. On the way they stop at Arizona, Alice is determined to find a job. She uses her looks and charm to get a job as a singer in a piano bar. There she gets involved with a strange man who ends up being a lunatic so Alice and her son leave the town. The two make their next stop to Tuscan and Alice is forced to work as a waitress to support the family. Her son Tommy gets involved with a bad influence and he begins to misbehave even more, he steals, drinks and even ends up at the precinct. Alice meets a man that she starts to fall in love with. She is very impressed with the way the man acts Tommy, she hopes he will be a strong male figure in her son’s life. At the end they end up staying in Tuscan, Alice decides that she can be a singer anywhere and is hopeful for her new life in Tuscan with the new man and her son.
This movie is a good example of new Hollywood cinema because it showcases Women’s gaining independence in America. It shows a character Alice who is not afraid of taking risks. She is determined to become a singer and do whatever necessary to support her child. It shows women in a strong light. Also the sometimes bad language is an example of the cinema trying to lean toward a younger audience. And the risky subject matters are a part of the real life drama that new Hollywood cinemas try to illustrate.