Andy Garcia's film set amid the Cuban Revolution stylistically revisits The Godfather, complete with multi-scion-in-tuxes dynasty, formal translated-to-English patois, deep umber shadows, concerns about "respect," meetings with sly Jews (Dustin Hoffman as an inscrutable Meyer Lansky) -- even an old-timer (Richard Bradford) having a coronary in a sunny garden. In production for two decades or so, Garcia's pet project (written by the late novelist and critic Guillermo Cabrera Infante) focuses first on three upper-class brothers (played by Garcia, Nestor Carbonell, and Enrique Murciano) as the 1959 usurpation looms. Staged with credibility and loads of Cubano flair, the film slows to a sludgy crawl amid the reactionary romanticism; like a rumba-inflected Gone With the Wind, Garcia's tale bemoans the loss of easy wealth for a precious few. Poor people are absolutely absent, as if peasant revolutions happen for no particular reason.
Andy GarciaAndy Garcia, Dustin Hoffman, Lorena Feijoo, Bill Murrray, Enrique Murciano, Tomas Milian, William Marquez, Julio Oscar MechosoG. Cabrera InfanteAndy Garcia, Frank Mancuso, Jr.Magnolia Pictures