Stereoactive Movie Club Ep 13 // The Godfather

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, 1972's 'The Godfather' is a foundational work of modern cinema, culturally influential beyond the scope of most movies.

Stereoactive Movie Club Ep 13 // The Godfather
Stereoactive Movie Club Round Two (Mia's Pick)
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It’s Mia’s 2nd pick: The Godfather Part II both continues the story begun in the first film and deepens it by depicting what came before. We watch as Al Pacino’s Michael Corleone continues in the family business, building his empire while trying to hold on to his family, both actual and figurative. This is crosscut with a portrayal of his father Vito’s rise from an unfortunate child in Sicily to a respected man in New York, as deftly played by Robert DeNiro. We watch as the older man builds his empire in order to, as he seems to view it, strengthen his family, just as the younger man causes his family to weaken as he extends his father’s empire.

Mario Puzo, the author of the novel on which the first movie and the overall saga were based, began working on the script for Part II before the first movie was even released. And, at least according to Coppola, the production of this followup was much more smooth than that of the first film, as that installment’s success afforded him greater opportunity for control and independence from the studio, Paramount Pictures. It was released in December of 1974 and, though the critical reception was mixed at first – with the film’s structure drawing the most consternation – reassessments began sooner than often happens.

The film was nominated for many awards, earning 6 Oscars for: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Support Actor (Robert DeNiro), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Art Direction, and Best Original Dramatic Score. It was also nominated for 5 other Oscars: Best Actor (Al Pacino), Best Supporting Actor ( Michael V. Gazzo and Lee Strassberg), Best Supporting Actress (Talia Shire), and Best Costume Design.

For our purposes, it gets a little messy – the film ranked #9 on Sight and Sound Magazine’s survey of directors in 1992… But when it was paired with Part 1 for the the survey in 2002, the 2 films collectively came it at #4 on the critics poll and at #2 on the directors poll.

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