Remembering Ray Liotta in ‘Goodfellas’

Glenn Kenny, writing for The New York Times:

There’s a moment early in Martin Scorsese’s 1990 gangster classic Goodfellas that always tugs at my heartstrings. Scorsese’s movie is brutal and cleareyed and unsentimental, yes. But Ray Liotta as Henry Hill, the viewer’s docent into the criminal world, injects a note of tenderness that’s all the more effective for coming out of the mouth of a slick sociopath. (The movie is based on the true-crime book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi; the real Hill attained some celebrity in the wake of the picture’s release.)

It’s during the voice-over when Henry recalls as a boy envying the wiseguys who hung out at the pizza parlor and taxi stand across the street from his home. The guy who runs the pizza joint is Tuddy Cicero, brother of the mob underboss Paulie Cicero, for whom Henry will be working soon. Narrator Henry says the gangster’s full name and pauses. Then, in an exhalation that has low but strong notes of love and nostalgia, he adds, “Tuddy.”

Friday, 27 May 2022