I still have the images from this film in mind. What an excellent work of art. It’s Francis Ford Coppola’s first original screenplay since The Conversation. It is a beautifully told story of the two brothers and the unveiling of the family secrets. The writing is absolutely fantastic, complemented by outstanding performances of Vincent Gallo and Alden Ehrenreich. Maribel Verdú (from Y Tu Mama Tambien) as the wife of Tetro (Vincent Gallo) does an amazing job, too.
I have never seen Vincent Gallo on screen before, and this film has put him into my favorite actors pool. He’s absolutely mesmerizing, the writer on a perpetual writing sabbatical, a not quite failed genius. And his eyes transmit a lot of emotion. The part where he stares at the blinding peaks of Patagonian mountains carry all the emotion of the subsequent ballet scene (which is also five stars).
Speaking of the ballet – Francis Ford Coppola created some of the most amazing dance scenes in this film. Some of them filled my eyes with tears. Apparently many of them have been shot in the studio only to be decorated with memorable and beautiful backgrounds in post-production. The whole film is actually in black and white – the present is in black & white, whereas flashbacks and scenes from memories are in color. In other words, for Tetro, the present is pretty bleak and not as vivid as the shaky past. I was wondering why the choice of black and white, until I hit the mid-peak of the film. My oh my.
I recommend this movie. It is now in my top 10 favorite movies of all time, filled with fully developed characters that undergo shocking changes as the story unveils. I’m still in a mild coma, and a sea of emotions that I can explain, but won’t. I don’t think it’ll be a stretch to say that Oscar nominations are due, but who knows. Go and watch it. Here’s the trailer: