A movie poster headlining Scorsese, De Niro, Pacino, and Pesci means you instantly know you are in for a mobster movie. How different from other mafia movies it is though. Instead of a thrill ride or glorification, we experience the mundanity, if you will, of everyday violence, murder, extortion, bribery, fraud and a variety of other felonies through the eyes and memories of the Irishman. A character study reflecting on life and loyalties, loss and loneliness, and pain and penance.
Ridley Scott’s debut as director is a historical drama, based on a Joseph Conrad story, set in the time of Napoleon. An impetuous hussar lieutenant Feraud (played by Harvey Keitel) stabs the son of an influential mayor in a duel, and another lieutenant d’Hubert (played by Keith Carradine) is sent to arrest him. Keitel’s character, rather than returning to barracks, challenges his arresting officer to a duel instead, though both survive the encounter.
The latest movie of Paolo Sorrentino was shot by the same director of photography as his previous movie La Grande Belezza. And the movie is (mostly) beautifully shot indeed. Set in an exclusive sanatorium in the Swiss Alps, Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel observe the other guests as well as their own lives and the follies of their youth, most of which they are too old for to accurately remember.
The Congress sets out a future where live actors are no longer needed – Hollywood will just ‘scan’ the people they want and from there on in their digital alter-egos will do all the work.
A potentially interesting concept, with Robin Wright, Harvey Keitel and Paul Giamatti. Halfway through the movie switches style from live-action to animation, which turns out to be a defining love-it-or-hate-it moment. It didn’t work for me, and you lose interest in a concept and storyline that seems to go from interesting to silly in a matter of a couple of minutes…