The Lost City (R)
Drama 143 April 28, 2006
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.