An Easter story. Frank is a Manhattan medic, working graveyard in a two-man ambulance team. He's burned out, exhausted, seeing ghosts, especially a young woman he failed to save six months' before, and no longer able to save people: he brings in the dead. We follow him for three nights, each with a different partner: Larry, who thinks about dinner, Marcus, who looks to Jesus, and Tom, who wallops people when work is slow. Frank befriends the daughter of a heart victim he brings in; she's Mary, an ex-junkie, angry at her father but now hoping he'll live. Frank tries to get fired, tries to quit, and keeps coming back, to work and to Mary, in need of his own rebirth. Written by
In Mary's apartment, the shadow of the boom mic is visible on the wall. See more »
Oh, I see. With all the poor people of this city who wanted only to live and were viciously murdered, you have the nerve to sit here, wanting to die, and not go through with it? You make me sick!
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This film is grossly underappreciated. This represents director Martin
Scorsese and writer Paul Schrader at their best. They gave us classics like
TAXI DRIVER, RAGING BULL, and THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST, but they've
outdone themselves here. Yeah, it's a masterpiece, but one that's not
Nicholas Cage plays Frank an ambulance driver who hasn't saved anyone in
months, a man who is feeling guilty and about to break under the weight of
the suffering and sorrow he sees in New York City. Scorsese, always working
with religious sensibilities, turns this film into a three day descent into
the underworld, with Frank being raised to life on the third day, just like
No story to speak of, but then that's the point--the lives of ambulance
drivers are largely plotless. It's got the same strengths as other Scorsese
classics--visually stunning, uncompromising in its portrayal of the darker
side of human nature, and a dead-on portrayal of people at their most
desperate. Add to that an almost dreamlike quality that makes the streets
of New York look like some metropolitan hell. The thing that sets this film
apart, however, is a genuine compassion for its characters. Scorsese's an
excellent filmmaker, but he could sometimes be accused of portraying his
characters a little coldly. This film is all heart, all the way through.
This is the Scorsese of TAXI DRIVER and MEAN STREETS, the Scorsese who takes
chances on projects that really mean something, the Scorsese that was
missing in GANGS OF NEW YORK.
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