Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Genesis of Vito Corleone

A necessarily short blog post tonight.

I'd like to say that Francis Ford Coppola owes everything to The Godfather I & II and he pretty much sucks as a director without those two movies in his filmography. And, as a matter of personal preference, his wines aren't that great either. But I feel charitable tonight. Therefore, I will say that Francis Ford Coppola is a very uneven director. He has directed absolute masterpieces (The Godfather I & II, The Outsiders), but he has also directed absolute pieces of you-know-what (The Godfather III, Bram Stoker's Dracula) over his lengthy career.

Tonight I'm enjoying The Godfather II, hence the short blog post. The scenes set in Lake Tahoe and Cuba are fairly interesting, with stunning revelations, but the scenes that depict the genesis of Vito Corleone are truly fascinating.

His family decimated by Mafia violence, a nine-year old orphan flees his native Sicily and arrives in America, unable to speak English. Years pass and he begins raising his family in the shadow of Don Fanucci, a bully to his own people. Stop reading if you've never seen this movie and would like to one day.


He kills Don Fanucci and, ultimately, ends up being that which he despised in the first place. And his son is arguably worse!

It's an age-old cautionary tale and we recognize these characters by their actions, even if we don't recognize them by name. In fantastically dreamy casting, this film stars true masters of their craft: Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, Lee Strasberg.

If you've never seen this movie, particularly if you've seen The Godfather I, do take a few hours and immerse yourself in the Corleone family saga.

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