Martin Scorsese’s ‘Raging Bull’—oft-cited these days as the director’s magnum opus— first premiered in New York on November 14, 1980 to a volley of mixed reviews. At least, that’s what the Internet would have modern researchers believe.
One of the defining features of these character-driven studies is that character development isn’t always a given. These are vibrant and multifaceted characters, but they aren’t necessary going to grow or evolve as human beings.
Bresson directed a number of films that could be considered his greatest, and while Au Hasard Balthazar (1966) puts up the strongest fight, a good case could be made for Pickpocket, from 1959, as the inimitable filmmaker’s finest achievement.