Tuesday, 10 September 2013

The Godfather

The Godfather, 1972
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
Nominated for 11 Oscars, Won 3
Wins: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominations: Best Supporting Actor (x3), Best Costumes, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Sound

"Don" Vito Corleone, head of a mob family, and known as the Godfather, is aging. His son Michael, just come home from war, is adamant that he will not become part of his family's notorious business. As Don Corleone is getting older, and the ways of the mobs are changing, Michael is finding himself stepping up to take the place of his father. 

Well, that was an extremely brief synopsis (and probably not overly well-written) of what is a quite long, and slightly complex movie. The Godfather is truly a classic film, that has always been hailed as one of the best films (and Best Picture winners- if not bested by the sequel) ever made. It's the ultimate "guy film", with lots of killing, and blood, and back stabbing. Macho, you know. 

As a young woman, I wasn't sure how this film would go with me. Not that I'm a lover of chick-flicks. And I do have the occasional "guy film" that I really love (Gladiator, etc) but I was interested walking into this one. I knew I would probably come out with respect for the film, acknowledging that yes, this is a well-made film, but i wasn't sure how much I would actually enjoy it. 

While it isn't my favourite film or anything, this film was definitely well made, well acted, well everything. It was also intriguing and interesting. Marlon Brando is an extremely fine actor. While his last win (and the only other film I"ve seen him in) was On The Waterfront, 18 years earlier, he still manages to completely immerse himself in the role. Brando was extremely convincing as the aging Italian patriarch, the one everyone both respects and fears. Having not done anything worth-while in several years, and losing cred as an actor, this film turned things around for Brando. At only 48 years old when the film came out, almost considered "too young" to play the part, Brando snagged his second Oscar for the role. 

On the other hand, we have Al Pacino, newcomer, who beat out people like Robert Redford and Warren Beatty for the role of Michael. Pacino plays Michael very subtly. Very carefully, giving him a very subtle growth in what Michael becomes. By the end of the film I wondered how we had gotten from Michael, innocent young man come home from war, to the new "Don", head of the Corleone family. When did that happen? It came on so slowly and so perfectly that it never seemed rushed or forced. This earned Pacino a Best Supporting Actor nomination (to which Pacino boycotted the Oscars that year, insisting he was the lead role). 

Overall, this is a well-made film. It looks authentic and wonderful. Between the backdrops of grungy 1940's New York, and the beautiful lands of Sicily Italy. The acting, and not just Brando and Pacino, was well done. Hence 4 different men being nominated in an acting category, and nominating the Best Supporting Actor category (though not winning). The music was beautiful and the perfect mix of old Italian style and New York mob. While, in parts, I found the film a little long, I did find the film interesting, and am interested in what makes people say the Godfather Part II is even better 

Acting- 9.5/10 
Directing- 9.5/10 
Screenplay- 8/10 
Visuals- 8/10 

Music- 8.5/10 Emotional Connection- 7.5/10 
Entertainment- 7.5/10 
Rewatchability- 7.5/10 
Overall Enjoyment- 7.5/10 

Overall Package- 9/10     

Total: 82.5/100

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