Jump to content
kenmorefield

The Godfather II (1974)

Recommended Posts

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" 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great observations, Ken.

I can now narrow down my 25 nominees for the top 100 list from 28 to 29.

 


"Anyway, in general I love tragic artists, especially classical ones."

"Even the forms for expressing truth can be multiform, and this is indeed necessary for the transmission of the Gospel in its timeless meaning."

- Pope Francis, August 2013 interview with Antonio Spadaro

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Link to our thread on The Godfather (1972).

kenmorefield wrote:
Michael's attempts to make the family "legitimate" raises questions about whether reformation is possible without repentance. 

Ooooh, I like this way of putting it.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...