I consider myself to be something of a pop culture buff, but lately I’ve realized that distinction really only applies to the ’90s forward. Which leaves a whole bunch of stuff from other decades, and which means that there are a lot of so-called “classic” movies that I’ve never seen. Some of these, I’m downright embarrassed about (see: the subject of this post). Some of these, I definitely know I should watch, but can never quite seem to motivate myself to actually watch (e.g. Citizen Kane). And others, I’m completely ambivalent about (for example, I have a friend who considers it appalling that I’ve never seen Die Hard and Jurassic Park. Are these really necessary cinematic experiences? Or even classics?).
Whatever the case, I’ve decided to make a concerted effort to start catching up on some of these classics. Since I just started law school, this plan will likely be derailed pretty quickly, but I figure I might as well get working on making a dent in my list of classics (it’s a long one).
It seemed to me that there was no better place to start than the Godfather since, as I mentioned above, I’m pretty embarrassed never to have seen the movie. Also, my dad owns the triology (and loves them). And, I just went to Sicily this summer, and that definitely made me want to watch the movie even more. So, upon watching, here are my thoughts on this classic:
- I found the movie difficult to watch on its own terms – there are so many scenes and lines that I already knew were “classics,” and that knowledge inevitably colored my perception of them. For example – rather than being completely surprised when the man finds the horse’s head in his bed, you’re more like, “oh, hey, it’s the horse head scene!”
- I know Brando got the Oscar for this, but I was much more impressed by Al Pacino. He played Michael so quietly, but I thought it was really effective. Also? He was way hot back in the day.
- I was blown away by how many amazing actors there were in this movie. It has to be one of the best (or the best?) casts in a movie, ever. The exception to this: Talia Shire. Really? She got an Oscar nomination for this? All she does is act hysterical and scream a lot.
- This will sound super obvious, but I liked the themes of family/duty/honor, and the conflict between doing what you want and fulfilling some sense of familial obligation.
- I loved the tension of the baptism scene at the end. Perfectly done.
Ultimately – I really liked the movie. I can’t wait to discover more great, but entirely new to me, films.
My grade: A