Having read Mario Puzo’s Godfather trilogy, viewed the films, but it was not until I visited “The Offer” that I became aware of the intricacies, fluctuations, political intrigue informing the epic production (winner of three Academy Awards, including Best Picture); “The Offer” is my top pick in today’s screening milieu; starring Miles Teller (“Whiplash”) as producer Al Ruddy (garnished an Academy Award for his gargantuan endeavors); Matthew Goode is magnificent as Paramount head Robert Evans; Justin Chambers, Juno Temple and Giovanni Ribisi soar as Marlon Brando, Bettye McCartt (Ruddy’s assistant) and gangster Joe Columbo; Dan Folger and Patrick Gallo cocoon to impeccability, director Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo, in tandem they created a masterpiece. Diane Keaton exponentially mushrooms through the trinity of films as “Kay”, Michael’s beleaguered wife.
Equally stunned and fascinated, I binged watched all three Godfather’s (1972, 1974, 1990). Marlon Brando was the only actor Puzo and Coppola saw as “The Godfather” and he won (but rejected the Academy Award); both men fought valiantly against Evans for Al Pacino (relatively unknown at the time) as “Michael Corleone”, in retrospect Pacino was more than suited and brilliant in the role; he mesmerizingly grows from a family outlier to an incomparable Don; another battle was waged over James Caan for wiseacre “Sonny Corleone”, victory went to Evans and serendipitously Caan took flight and captured an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. By light years “Godfather II” is the finest of the triplicate, capturing 6 Academy Awards including the first sequel to win Best Picture. Tragically the third and saddest is “Godfather III”, primarily Coppola’s “blind eye” in substituting his teenage daughter, Sophia (Winona Ryder took ill) as Michael Corleone’s daughter “Mary”; her unsophistication, lack of training was substantially noted in comparison to the seasoned skill of the entire cast; that being stated its intricate plots, papacy corruption, action, and the inclusion of Andy Garcia as Sonny’s son and Michael’s nephew “Vincent” creates a legitimate and worthy watch.