Everyone’s watching a classic Leonardo DiCaprio movie on Netflix, and it doesn’t ‘give a tupenny f*ck about your moral conundrum, you meat-headed sh*t-sack’.
Over the past 25 years, DiCaprio’s career has soared from strength to strength. In 1996, he became a teen heartthrob in Romeo & Juliet. In 1997, he was ‘king of the world’ in Titanic. A few years later, he sat on the sands of paradise in The Beach.
In 2002, he approached the stratosphere with Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can, easily among his best films to date. Later that year, one director helped him transcend his boyish image and convince the silly naysayers: Martin Scorsese.
Based on Herbert Asbury’s 1927 novel of the same name, Gangs of New York stars DiCaprio as Amsterdam Vallon, who returns to the Five Points area of the city to avenge the death of his father, murdered by ‘Bill the Butcher’ (Daniel Day-Lewis). While seeking revenge, the Civil War erupts around him.
Its recent addition to Netflix has seen it enter the streaming platform’s top 10 chart in the UK, with many taking to social media to recommend it to others. ‘Randomly watching Gangs of New York of Netflix. Daniel Day-Lewis is incredible!!!’ one user tweeted.
‘Sometimes film critics are wrong. Totally wrong. Just found Gangs of New York on Netflix. I’m about to remind myself why Daniel Day-Lewis is a good actor,’ another wrote. For reference, the movie has a solid 73% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with most critics praising its epic scale and Day-Lewis’ performance, but some criticised its plot and pacing.
Scorsese had been trying to bring the movie to life for years, tinkering with how to make it more appealing to studios and audiences. However, it wasn’t the writing, nor the vision of his direction which had producers convinced: it was DiCaprio, who latched onto the project with his newfound superstardom after Titanic.
Discussing its release so close to Catch Me If You Can, he told The Age, ‘I like the fact that they’re very different films. I just kind of regret that they both came out at the same time. In one, I work with Steven Spielberg and the other with Martin Scorsese. It doesn’t get much better than that in this business.’
While its production was a bit tumultuous – its budget ballooned to more than $100 million, becoming the most expensive film of Scorsese’s career until The Aviator – Gangs of New York made more than $193 million at the box office and earned 10 Oscar nominations.
Gangs of New York is on Netflix now.
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