Friday, December 13, 2013

12 Movies of Christmas: The Godfather (1972)

Hello, Bloggers, welcome to another episode of the 12 Movies of Christmas. While I did another movie about Christmas last time, today I will review a film that seems like an odd choice to review around Christmastime but I will explain why. So, let's go into a film that you 'can't refuse' as I review the all-time classic The Godfather.

                The Godfather is about an aging patriarch named Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) who is very devoted to his family and has five children: Michael (Al Pacino), who has little interest at first in getting into the family business, which pleases Vito, Sonny (James Caan), who wants to take over the family business, Vito's adopted son Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall) who is also the family lawyer, Fredo (John Cazale), and Connie (Talia Shire), who is married to an abusive Sicilian man which displeases her father. Vito Corleone is a crime boss who is very devoted to his family, but will enforce violence on those who threaten or disrespect his family. When a rival crime family wants to start selling drugs in New York, the two clans begin to clash and eventually, the peace within the Corleone family becomes threatened.

               What I Liked About It:
              One thing that I liked the most about this film was how some of its main themes deal with family values, which is why I chose to review it as one of my 12 Movies of Christmas. As I said on my list of the Top 10 Best Movie Dads, Vito Corleone is somebody that may be the head of a crime family, but he cares deeply about his family. So, I think that Vito is a very interesting character and Marlon Brando does a phenomenal job at playing him. He may not have the most screen time unlike his co-stars, but when he is on screen, he has a large commanding screen presence and I am more than glad Brando won an Oscar for his performance, and that Caan, Duvall, and Pacino got nods for their performances as well. Al Pacino I would say gives the most dynamic performance as Michael, the son who is reluctant to take part in the family business at first, but slowly does take part in it. James Caan just eats up the scenery as Sonny, the hot-headed son who is fiercely loyal to his family. Robert Duvall is also great as Tom Hagen, the moral center of his adopted family, and even John Cazale and Talia Shire, who play Fredo and Connie, are great as well. I would say this movie, along with the 1951 version of A Streetcar Named Desire, also starring Marlon Brando, is like a master class in acting. Plus, I loved the master class direction by Francis Ford Coppola. When he directs the violent or gory scenes, it's like you know it's going to happen, but you don't know when or how because he uses the long tracking shot technique to focus on his actors and create suspense.

              I also liked how despite the film's near 3-hour running time, I was never bored the entire way through. The film definitely takes its time with the story and I really love it for that. Normally, when a long film takes too much time with its story, I begin to get bored *cough* The English Patient *cough*, but not the case here. Honestly, if it was ever on the AMC Channel or whatever, I would put it on just because I love it so much.

               What I Didn't Like About It:

              Overall, The Godfather is a magnificent classic that is absolutely flawless. It is usually number one or two on many "Greatest Films List" and I can honestly see why that is because this film is just perfect. Watching this film is, to quote Vito Corleone, is just "an offer that you can't refuse".

Rating: 5/5