Monday, April 20, 2009

Banana A Day - Once Upon A Time In America

Sergio Leone's massive crime epic that has a run time of 229 minutes. Leone indulges himself for every minute of this. I have problems with over indulgent movies, but for this movie it spans a time period of 50 years so there is no other way for it to be done. Run time aside, I did have some problems with the movie. I was going to say that it was because the characters were unlikeable, but that is a standard thing to say when dismissing a movie. For one, when characters are unlikeable it gives the film more of a realistic feel. My dislike of this movie comes more from not caring for the characters. I have had this problem with organised crime movies before. When a character makes bad decisions and chooses to live a seedy life, why should I feel sorry for the character when the inevitable consequences occur. Once Upon A Time In America follows Robert De Niro's character Noodles from childhood to manhood. Along the way he does despicable thing after despicable thing and honestly I hoped that he would have to face the consequences. My thoughts on the characters kind of destroyed any chance for this movie to be special to me, but I still appreciate Sergio Leone's master hand. The film looks gorgeous, and the score by Ennio Morricone compliments it well. Also the way that Leone jumps around in a non-linear style is done incredibly well. Appreciation of the film is easy, but to love it you have to be able to identify with the characters.

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