Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
USA, 1974. Paramount Pictures, The Coppola Company. Screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola, Mario Puzo, based on the novel The Godfather by Mario Puzo. Cinematography by Gordon Willis. Produced by Francis Ford Coppola. Music by Nino Rota. Production Design by Dean Tavoularis. Costume Design by Theadora Van Runkle. Film Editing by Barry Malkin, Richard Marks, Peter Zinner.
Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo followed the enormous success of The Godfather with this superb sequel, one that instead of cashing in on the success of its predecessor actually surpasses it and tells an even more impressive story. Now that young Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) has taken over the family, he has given in so much to the seduction of money and power that it has made him paranoid of even his own relatives. In between glimpses of the mafia world entering the modern age are scenes that detail the young Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro) and his beginnings in turn-of-the-century New York City. Gordon Willis’ cinematography is even more poetic than it was the first time around, and the epic length is never for a minute taxing on your patience as a viewer. All the performances are superb, from Pacino’s commanding leading role to Diane Keaton‘s taking more centre stage as his exasperated wife Kay. Probably the most impressive moments in the film, however, come from John Cazale‘s marvelous work as the young brother Fredo; his pitiful experience is the emotional centre of the film. Really powerful stuff, and my personal favourite in the trilogy.
Academy Awards: Best Picture; Best Supporting Actor (Robert De Niro); Best Director (Francis Ford Coppola); Best Adapted Screenplay; Best Art Direction; Best Original Dramatic Score
Nominations: Best Actor (Al Pacino); Best Supporting Actor (Michael V. Gazzo); Best Supporting Actor (Lee Strasberg); Best Supporting Actress (Talia Shire); Best Costume Design
Golden Globe Award Nominations: Best Picture-Drama; Best Actor-Drama (Al Pacino); Best Director (Francis Ford Coppola); Best Screenplay; Best Original Score; Most Promising Newcomer-Male (Lee Strasberg)