Paul Schrader’s Affliction is a hunting trip into dark territory, it’s a better film than just about anyone has made in any country for years and this was made in 1997. Coburn won the Oscar I believe and the Nolte should have won too. I can’t imagine a better performance in 97.

On the IMBd there’s a thread about this being a far better film than Scorsese has made since Casino, and I’d tend to agree. Schrader is the writer behind much of the best of Scorsese’s work, but he’s also directed some remarkable films and has built up a body of work that arguably ranks higher than Scorsese’s.

I’ve blogged before about Light Sleeper and Blue Collar, two tough, beautiful and uncompromising films. Meanwhile Scorsese has made the dire Aviator and the even worse Wolf of Wall Street – kid’s films at best.

Affliction is an adult drama about parenting, alcoholism and small town murder. I don’t want to give away too many spoilers, but the closing minutes are some of the best film directing I’ve ever seen. This is an explosive film; kudos must go to the writer (Schrader) and the actors.

I don’t want to say too much more, just see it.

So, 2 films to go…

Matthew Cooper has written for most of the UK soaps, including writing episodes of Emmerdale, Eastenders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs. Matthew was winner of the Lloyds Bank Channel Four Film Challenge, the Oscar Moore Screenplay Prize and has been BAFTA shortlisted and Royal TV Society nominated. He’s been a script consultant and script writer for hire for over 20 years. You can find some of his broadcast credits on the IMDb.