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First off, do we seriously not have a thread for this film? I could not find one. Second, I've resisted this film for years, mostly because I felt somehow like I had to protect the original from the hot take of "ooooh, the sequel is better." But I rewatched this for the first time in years and now I'm wrestling with myself because I urged a "no-series-just-individual-movies" for Top 100 nominations. I think it took me this long to watch the movie on its own terms. It is a stunning achievement in the way it both hits the beats of the first movie (like the long intro piece at a celebration), deepens some of the themes (family as trap/curse) and adds something of it its own. What struck me this time that has never hit me so hard before was the fight between Kay and Michael, her admission that she had an abortion, and her reasons why. Decades before Tony Soprano went to therapy, Michael's attempts to make the family "legitimate" raises questions about whether reformation is possible without repentance. Certainly the backstory of Vito's arrival in America turns the film into an immigrant saga, but the circumstances around it raise questions about being born into vioence (original sin?). In The Godfather, it always felt like Michal's original sin was more of a conscious choice, with his decline a hard but inevitable result of incremental compromises that followed after. Vito's moral justifications are more ambiguous, and his retribution both more revealing and in some senses, heartbreaking. "Too long a sacrifice makes a stone of the heart..." W. B. Yeats "Easter 1916"