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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sean Kelly

Oscar Blindspot: The Godfather

godfather

Even though I still plan to watch and write about the film I planned for the “Cult of 2013” blindspot series, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to write about a film that has seemingly forever held the top spot on my “films that I’m shamed to have never watched” list.  That would of course be Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 classic The Godfather.  As both a cinephile and man of Italian heritage, people (mostly family members) would frown whenever I told them that I’ve never seen the film.  I finally watched the film last night to conclude a mini-marathon of past Best Picture winners and nominees, so I will make this post a special Oscar edition of the Blindspot series.

There is nothing much that I can write about The Godfather, which hasn’t been written countless times before.  The film is considered by many to be one of the greatest films ever made and, for as long as I can remember, the film has been at or near the top of the IMDB Top 250.  The film is most memorable for Marlon Brando’s performance as Don Vito Corleone, which won Brando his second of two Best Actor Oscars, which he infamously publicly refused by sending American Indian Rights activist Sacheen Littlefeather in his place, to criticize Hollywood’s depiction of first-nations people.

Despite Marlon Brando receiving top billing and all the praise, the film is really all about Al Pacino as Don Corleone’s youngest son Michael.  In fact, Pacino was quite annoyed that the Academy nominated him for Best Supporting Actor, even though he has much more screen time in the film than Brando.  When Michael Corleone is introduced to the film, he is a World War II veteran, who wants nothing to do with his family’s business in organized crime.  Throughout the course of the film, Michael gets more and more involved with his family’s dealings, until he inherits the role of Don from his father.  One of the most interesting aspects of the film is watching how Michael’s persona changes over the course of the film.  The Godfather was only Al Pacino’s third film and it was quite interesting seeing how the, very subdued, early Pacino contrasted with his later roles, where is known more for going crazy and yelling a lot.

The film definitely takes its time with its narrative, as evidenced by the three hour running time.  In fact, the film opens memorably with the wedding of Don Corleone’s daughter, which takes up nearly the entire first half hour of the film.  There is also a lengthy section in the middle of the film, which follows Michael Corleone in Sicily, at which time the film turns into a foreign language film, with mostly Italian dialogue.  However, despite the length, I thought that the film was absolutely captivating from beginning to end.

Overall, I will say that I am definitely going to join with the hordes of movie fans who love The Godfather.

10 | LOVED IT  

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).