• John Lim

MF 393 : Summer movie series: A Bronx Tale (1993)



This week, I talk about the classic, A Bronx Tale (1993), directed by and co-starring Robert DeNiro, based on a story by Chazz Palminteri who also co-stars in the film and wrote the screenplay. More at www.bemovingforward.com.


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Note: the summer movie series will air on Fridays.


A movie about fathers and sons disguised as a mob movie

A Bronx Tale (1993)

Set in the 1960s in New York, Calogero "C" Anello (Lilo Brancato) is the son of Lorenzo Anello, expertly played by Robert DeNiro. Lorenzo is a honest, hard working man trying to provide for his family. He drives a bus by day and bonds with his son over baseball. Right next to their apartment building is a club run by Sonny LoSpecchio, the local mob boss. He is feared and respected by everyone in the neighborhood, and admired by C. much to the worry of Lorenzo. Sonny is portrayed by Chazz Palminteri who gives a commanding performance within a complex and engaging story that was conceived by Palminteri who also wrote the screenplay. As C becomes a teenager, he is caught between two worlds and two role models. A Bronx Tale is at its heart an engaging movie about fathers and sons.


The good:

  • Beautiful set pieces and soundtrack that captures the 1960s setting.

  • Outstanding performances by DeNiro, Palminteri and Brancato.

  • The film confidently weaves multiple plot lines into a tight, confident story.

The bad:

  • Katherine Narducci who portrays C's mom, Rosina Anello, gives a wonderful performance and has excellent chemistry with DeNiro. I would have liked her character to have had more screen time and development.

  • Late in the film, Lorenzo and Sonny have a brief altercation, shortly after C's misunderstanding with Sonny. It would have been more powerful had the two characters not interacted beyond their first meeting, which occurs earlier in the film. I love how this movie sidesteps cliches and it's unexpected that the two competing father figures have little interaction with one another. Having them interact a second time also contradicts C's earlier monologue, in which he says they only spoke to one another once.

Wishlist:

  • A prequel detailing Sonny's rise to power.

  • An expanded universe of stories.

Rating:

  • ****1/2 (out of five)

Where you can watch A Bronx Tale (1993):

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