First thoughts on the Godfather I and II


An ambitious pair of movies. The second one compliments the first seamlessly, particularly in the relationships between Michael and Kay, and Michael and Vito (both as children). Diane Keaton’s eyebrows were unnerving, but her performance was great. Pacino is so quiet, especially in the first film. I’m used to a Pacino who yells. I loved him, especially in the first film. I love how Robert DeNiro plays a young Vito in the second, and the parallels in the acting and character between Pacino and DeNiro. All of DeNiro’s best scenes in part two are when he isn’t speaking: standing aside helpless and broke while Fredo is sick as a baby; taking out the Don and disposing of the weapon and then taking a seat with his family during the festivities; holding baby Michael on the train back in Italy. Also, young DeNiro is a babe. No one told me this! Also, Brando’s quiet scenes are menacing and fantastic. Stroking the cat in the opening scene. Playing with Michael’s son in the garden and dying.

The costumes, especially in the flashbacks were stunning. The cast was excellent. Some unforgettable shots. I would have liked to see more of Mama’s interior life and thoughts, how she spends fifty years with this violent man, who nonetheless loves his family endlessly. Kay can’t hack it with this bunch, nor can Connie, really, so what makes Mama able to stand it?


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