Saturday, January 2, 2010

Movie of the Month - Donnie Brasco

One of the best gangster pictures and one of the best films about the mob, ever. 1997's Donnie Brasco is based off the true story of FBI agent Joe Pistone who went undercover in the New York mob in the 70's and created one of the most successful operations in infiltrating the mafia in history. Pistone, portrayed brilliantly by Johnny Depp, is shown as family man who transforms into a criminal and ruthless individual. Leading the ultimate double life and a life that could get him at any time. Pistone links up with "Lefty," an old school mafioso, who in the film is played by Al Pacino in a stunning performance. Yet the most surprising achievement in the film may not be the actors or the story, but the director. Directed by English filmmaker Mike Newell, a name more synonymous with comedies such as Four Weddings and Funeral. Newell would later go on to direct Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Love in the Time of Cholera and opening later this year, Prince of Persia. Though Newell's first major break in Hollywood may have been that 1994 romantic comedy with Hugh Grant, yet it was Donnie Brasco that showcased his versatility and storytelling. Brasco received much critical praise on its release and earned an Oscar Nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. Certainly a film worth watching over and over again and never fuggetaboutit!