lucan’s review published on Letterboxd:
Master's Movie Challenge:
A film that I'm ashamed I haven't seen yet
After experiencing one of the most famous movies ever made today, I was in a state of shock. I couldn't believe what I had witnessed. For some odd reason, I always thought of The Godfather as a 'film school' movie where the plot isn't that important. I couldn't have been more incorrect. The plot is what drives the 3-hour run time. The plot is so engaging that it's impossible to abandon. The plot is arguably the best thing about the film. The picture is filled with utterly shocking and memorable moments. The opening scene. The restaurant scene. The road scene. The baptism scene...and the flawless ending.
I also just love the dynamic of the Corleone family. Their wicked energy and ultimate love for one another is really engaging to watch, especially when the likes of Marlon Brando, Al Pacino and James Caan are playing them.
This is one of the best acted films I have ever laid my eyes on (maybe even the very top of that list). Marlon Brando is iconic with his awesome line delivery. Al Pacino is phenomenal with the looks he gives to characters (the final scene he has with Diane Keaton gave me chills. He was soooo angry). James Caan is scarily convincing (that beating scene made me scared of the guy forever). Robert Duvall is amazing as always. Everyone is at the top of their game, even the ones who only have one scene. It's a stunning ensemble, all of which bring their characters to life in a very believable way. Every facial expression, every line of dialogue, every small mannerism. EVERYTHING about the acting is fantastic, from the satisfying subtlety of the minor head tilts to the loud moments of rage.
Seriously though. Brando and Pacino, in particular, give performances that are 'best I've ever seen' level.
I just can't get over how damn great they were!
It's a true masterpiece and definitely deserves the praise it has received and is still receiving. The cinematography is extraordinary, consisting of some of the most groundbreaking and effective camera shots of all time, and the editing is honestly PERFECT. Every single edit is timed to absolute perfection. Not once did a shot feel too long or too short. It always hits the sweet spot, and is actually one of the most overlooked aspects of the movie, and so is the lighting. The lighting is incredible and is so vital to many of the scenes truly working. It may not seem like it, but subconsciously your tremendous experience is partially created through the dense, gritty lighting.
It's a movie that is still being analysed, talked about and, for me, watched for the first time. There's nothing I can really add. Everyone knows the script is sensational. Everyone knows the pacing is wonderful. Everyone knows the cast is stellar. Everyone knows the cinematography, editing and framing is perfect.
Everyone knows this is an amazing gangster film and now I do too!