7. “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” (1974)
Scorsese is usually the last person one would think of as making what was once unceremoniously labeled a “women’s picture.” However, early on in his career, Scorsese did just that in spades. “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” follows a widow and her son as they struggle to find a stable home. Ellen Burstyn deservedly won an Oscar for her role as Alice. She’s feisty and resourceful at the same time. Even at this early point in his career, the makings of Scorsese as a director are present. Alice’s journey is also about a person going against the grain to achieve their lofty dreams. Her new life as a singer never seems intensely achievable, in the traditional sense. How that informs motherhood and the way she interacts with her newfound beau, David (Kris Kristofferson), is always engrossing. It’s great to see Scorsese step out of his comfort zone.