Tag Archives: Robert Duvall

The Best Picture Project — The Godfather Part II (1974)

Godfather part ii.jpgDirected by Francis Ford Coppola

Screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo, based upon the novel by Mario Puzo

Starring Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, John Cazale, Bruno Kirby, Lee Strassburg, Robert Duval, G. D. Spradlin and Harry Dean Stanton

It strikes me now that as I’ve come to the homestretch on the Best Picture Project, and looking to start my final kick,[1] I’m facing down what might be the toughest stretch of movies, having inadvertently saved some of the longest, and some of those I’d been dreading most, for last.  The streak started a few movies back with Crash (dreading), continued to The Departed (long), then on to My Fair Lady (long), leading right up to this one (long).  To come, Schindler’s List (dreading for emotional reasons and my discomfort at feeling feelings), Return of the King (massive length), Cimarron (saved for basically being unavailable), and Million Dollar Baby (dread because when I saw it in the theater, the bait-and-switch made me downright hostile with it).  Continue reading

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The Best Picture Project — Terms of Endearment (1983)

Terms of Endearment, 1983 film.jpgDirected by James L. Brooks

Screenplay by James L. Brooks from the book by Larry McMurtry

Starring Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger, Jeff Daniels and Jack Nicholson

In a way, James L Brooks is the most unappreciated man in movies, which is a funny thing to say about a guy that has three Oscars.  But when you think about it, every movie he’s made of consequence since his first — and for films of consequence since his first, there’s only two — has been singled out for attention by the Academy for everybody else associated with it, particularly those who are in it.  But Jim Brooks?  Not so much.


Broadcast News?  Three acting nominations, a Picture and Screenplay nom for Brooks, but zero wins all around.  And when you think of the movie, you don’t think of it as a Brooks film — you think of it as a Holly Hunter vehicle.  Or the last of the truly great William Hurt performances. Continue reading

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The Best Picture Project – The Godfather (1972)

File:Godfather ver1.jpgDirected by Francis Ford Coppola

Written by Coppola and Mario Puzo

Adapted from the Puzo novel of the same name

Starring Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Talia Shire and John Cazale

I like The Godfather.  I don’t love it, I like it.  It seems reasonable to me that it’s routinely hailed as one of the best films ever made, because I can see how it’s loved, it’s just not a film I’m all that passionate about.  For all the good things said about it the thing that keeps me from loving it is the incongruity of a pulp novel adapted as opera.  Perhaps if The Godfather had followed the lead of Psycho – pulp novel becomes pulp film – I might have had a bigger thing for it.  Still, just because I don’t love it, doesn’t meant it’s bad either, because it’s not. Continue reading

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