You know when you leave it too long to watch a classic movie and it means you just don’t quite get what it was all about? I knew I’d watched The Godfather years ago, but I couldn’t remember a lot of it. Which perhaps in itself suggests that this is not the film for me.
If you don’t know (as if you don’t know) Marlon Brando is the Godfather. The head of the mafia family, the Corleones. The film follows him and his family after there is an attempt on his life. Plans are laid and families are against each other. It’s violent and dark.
I understand why it has such a great wrap, but I just didn’t really like it all that much. You know why, I think? I think it is because I am used to long form storytelling, and (despite it being almost three hours worth of film) there just isn’t enough time to tell such an epic story. I am well aware that if it were not for The Godfather, we wouldn’t have The Sopranos. Still, I thank The Godfather for starting it all.
The Godfather won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Marlon Brando) and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium (Mario Puzo, Francis Ford Coppola). It was nominated three times for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (James Caan, Robert Duvall and Al Pacino), Best Director (Francis Ford Coppola), Best Costume Design, Best Sound, Best Film Editing and Best Music, Original Dramatic Score.
Felix Bush (Robert Duvall) is the local hermit in a small American town in the nineteen thirties. When another local hermit dies, she is inspired to hold his own funeral, only while he is still alive. He wants to hear what people have to say about him, but perhaps he has a more important story to tell.
I enjoyed a lot of this film – it’s one of those gentle films that just moseys along, dropping bits of information here and there. It does everything it should reliably and well, with strong performances, but without the spark that makes some stories amazing.
There has been some kind of nuclear incident (it’s not explained in too much detail) and the world is dying. Man (Viggo Mortensen) is walking with Boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee) heading south, hoping to find warmth and food as the nuclear winter continues to descend on them. The world is grey and horrible, everything is dead, there are no animals, no living plants, and the few survivors will do anything to survive.
Depressing? Well yes, very much so. The film has captured the dark and awful tones of the novel by Cormac McCarthy, and show a man who still has some hope for his son’s ultimate survival, against all the odds and perhaps even against any sense. The film does have an odd thing going for it, and that it is the soundtrack; by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, the music gives a strange and mysterious sense of hope. This juxtaposition shouldn’t work, yet it is perfect.