Never ask them about their business...
One of the most memorable moments of my 3 year married life ( so far!) arrived a few months back when my lovely wife Amy turned to me and said, "I have never seen The Godfather". Now to many this would seem shocking enough, considering (I hope) that most of the people that read my humble website posts would consider Francis Ford Coppola's 1972 gangster epic to be one of, if not the finest film ever made. And yet, what made that night even more incredible was that my wife and I were enjoying some early evening drinks with our good friend Tim… A man who subsequently informed me that he had never seen The Godfather either! Now my wife not seeing it I understand - she is a musical theatre darling. But this cinematic sucker punch left me astounded (even if it really shouldn't - Tim had only seen Brian De Palma's Scarface in the past year or so). And so it was agreed then and there that a Corleone evening was called for - a chance to enlighten these poor souls on the glorious merits of this "most perfect" film. Savoring the fine atmosphere... Magnifico!
Thanks to modern hectic lifestyles and globetrotting work commitments (sadly, not mine) it had been very difficult to organize a night when we were all free. Yet after three months, we finally managed to arrive together for this wonderful moment - last night at 6:30pm. Not only were we about to take in this masterpiece of celluloid, but I was also preparing some of the finest pizzas that Messrs. Mark and Spencer could provide (sadly, no cannoli) and Tim opened up a lovely bottle of Prosecco for the occasion… This was going to be great.
As Coppola's filmic expertise played on Tim's very large plasma screen, the reactions to the action were fantastic. Marlon Brando's unforgettable portrayal of Vito went down a treat with the virgins, all the classic moments were met with gasps of shock and excitement (the toll booth scene was particularly impactful) and the fact that the pair didn't initially recognize Al Pacino in perhaps his finest role as Michael was great! 164 fabulous minutes later, as Nino Rota's marvelous score plays out over the end credits, they give me their verdicts. Do YOU renounce Satan in this modern age?
"Some of the finest acting ever put to film…"
"Pacino was incredible…"
(Some things are universal! But then…)
"I couldn't tell who was who - too many names…"
"The final third of the movie dragged a bit…"
"Some of that looked so Seventies…"
(I guess you cannot please everybody!)
All in all, The Godfather has won over two new fans. Perhaps they are not quite as enamored with the film as I am, but there is no denying that in an age of frantic over-editing, incomprehensible shaky-cam cinematography and mahogany-levels of bad Tween-acting, a film in possession of innovative montage, crisp photography and sublime performances will always stand the test of time - let all future generations agree.