35mm, re-rating. What a sadness to review certain films after so many years and only discover the will that in a certain period formed us, namely the politic of authors. Coppola, in this film, failed the synthesis that with the Godfathers had found (especially with the second tomo) and above all did not find the musicality he so much sought (and made seminal in "One From the Heart"). An often amateurish movie.
Howe, howe, howe! It well captures the athmosphere of the 30's. The jazz, the sound, the dance show. But what is entirely underdeveloped is crime. Remember, we are in the middle of prohibition, mafia and gang rivalism in New York! Apparently Coppola has other intensions. What can that be? A musical-gangsterfilm-jazztrumpeterbiography-gangstercartoon-mixture? Maybe in 1984 he had Rob Marshall's "Chicago" in his mind.
Coppola takes a huge bite on numerous topics from prohibition time crime milieu, birth of popular music, racial segregation, to women's rights and inner city ethnic tensions. Almost none of them are fully developed, and some barely believable at all (like Gere-Cage relationship). What does work is a somewhat likeable semi-documentary of lavish jazz era.
Magical story from the 1920s in Harlem, with the background of the gangsters' time. Both Richard Gere and Diane Lane fully display their acting virtues. The music is awesome, I loved all that jazz. However predictable, the script flows nice and easy. Of course I won't tell you about the ending; allow me just to say that it turns out to be Disney-like. The movie is not so dramatic. I even laughed from time to time!