Still from Warner Bros. ‘Many Saints in Newark.’
Who made Tony Soprano? This is the question Many Saints in Newark aims to answer over the course of two hours.
However, those anticipating a story about a boy’s rise to the top of North Jersey’s most powerful criminal organization may find themselves disappointed. Tony, portrayed by the late James Gandolfini’s son Michael, plays a minor role in the film. Instead, it’s Dicky Multisanti (Alessandro Nivola), Tony’s neurotic uncle who falls into the heart of Many Saints.
Award-Winning & Beloved Ex Feature Film HBO The series “The Sopranos” begins in a cemetery. As the camera pans toward Christopher Multisanti’s tombstone, the audience hears the voice of actor Michael Imperioli, who has played the character for six seasons. The film tells from beyond the grave.
Fans of the show will know that Christopher beat up Tony in the final season. As a narrator, he tells the story of his father Dickie, his “Hollywood Dick” grandfather and his great-grandfather’s young Italian bride Giusepina during a time spanning the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Dickie struggles to manage his professional and personal responsibilities – running a criminal enterprise while reconciling romantic relationships with his father’s new wife. He also faces the betrayal of Harold McBrair (Leslie Odom Jr.), his muscles being radicalized by the 1967 Newark riots and deciding that the Italians should not take full control of the city.
Critics say “The Many Saints of Newark” — written by David Chase, the show’s original creator and presenter — embodies the spirit of its source material, but fails to live up to its roots.
Peter Bradshaw wrote in his review of The Sentinel.
The film currently has a “Fresh” rating of 77% by Rotten Tomatoes from 61 reviews.
Here’s what critics think of “The Many Saints of Newark” ahead of its release in theaters and on HBO Max Friday:
A.A. Dowd wrote in his review of the movie AV Club: “Those looking forward to the Corleonesque’s rise to power will be disappointed to learn that Tony plays a somewhat secondary role in The Many Saints Of Newark.” “Indeed, for a strong watch, he’s basically the size of Jake Lloyd: a boy watching from the fringes of a criminal empire in Jersey in the late 1960s.”
His mention of Jake Lloyd is a reference to the first previous Star Wars movie, “The Phantom Menace,” in which a child actor played a major franchise character (in this case, Anakin Skywalker aka Darth Vader) and spent much of the film watching other characters with Its own small agency.
Dodd said that many of the things that made The Sopranos such a hit are missing from “The Many Saints of Newark.”
“Where is the thorny psychology, the hilarious black midnight humor, the dimension that Chase has brought to every corner of an immoral criminal empire?” Asked. “Two decades ago, The Sopranos demonstrated that you can create something truly narrative on the small screen, helping usher in a supposed golden age of television using the format liberties of sprawling storytelling – and character development – in a way not possible on the big screen.”
“The irony of The Many Saints Of Newark is that it seems to bring this issue back: while The Sopranos showed that gangster cinema tropes can be revitalized through sequential storytelling, re-filtered again for two hours the format leaves only… metaphors.”
Still image from “Many Saints in Newark.”
While “The Many Saints of Newark” may appeal to most “The Sopranos” fans, Linda Maric of The London Economic says the film “has something for everyone.”
Marek praised Gandolfini’s performance filling his father’s big shoes, and Nivola as “sexy”.
“With a bit of self-reflected flair and instead of amusing Easter eggs designed to delight the faithful of the show, the film does exactly what was expected of it, even if it sometimes loses itself a little in the second act,” she wrote in the film review. “A really exciting movie that will make you want to get your Soprano box sets out and watch it all from the beginning all over again.”
While the story of the Moltisanti family is interesting, Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian questions whether “The Many Saints of Newark” benefited from focusing more on Tony Soprano’s parents.
Livia, Tony’s mother played by Vera Farmiga, was a major antagonist on the TV series, even going so far as to try to kill her son.
“We hear about Livia’s psychological issues as well as Tony[Tony’shighschoolcareercounselorbrilliantlyrepeatstheroleoftherapist)butFarmigawascertainlyfarmoreimportant”Bradshawsaid
He praised Farmiga for re-creating the behaviors that Nancy Marchand brought to life for the first time in the series.
“There’s a wonderfully dysfunctional moment when Johnny, frenzied beyond his wife’s endurance, is subjected to a mock execution in the car, firing his rifle out of her ear only,” Bradshaw explained. But Livia remains completely unmoved, staring stubbornly even as her veil smokes and Johnny turns to mutter: ‘Don’t give me that look.’
“There are a lot of culprits here,” he said: “For the next movie, I want you to star in Tony’s mother – the most terrifying Livia since I, Claudius.”
Michael Gandolfini plays Tony Soprano in Many Saints in Newark.
Variety’s Owen Gleiberman has, like many critics, praised Michael Gandolfini’s portrayal of his father, Tony Soprano.
Gleiberman wrote in his review of the film that he “identifies with his actor father in tremendously miraculous and poignant ways”. Front teeth protruding slightly, creating a subconscious limp, the appealing look of a miracle moon face: We’re looking at this long-haired but still wide-eyed kid, who looks like the sexiest John Cusack, which is exactly what you could have imagined that Tony Soprano would be a delinquent from New Jersey is trapped between his painfully broken family and the culture of rock ‘n’ roll freedom.”
However, “Many Saints in Newark” did not live up to Gleiberman’s expectations.
“What we want most from this movie, which arrives 14 years after The Sopranos ended, is a sense of revelation,” he wrote. “We want to show us how Tony Soprano, who grew up as a ‘normal’ Italian-American teenager, slid down the path that would have led him to becoming a sociopathic gangster. We need to see him take that first step.”
He said this movie does not do that.
“Watching ‘Many Saints in Newark’’ Soprano fan found Tony’s ‘evolution’ toward the dark side to be less compelling than Anakin Skywalker’s transformation into Darth Vader at the height of ‘Revenge of the Sith,’” he wrote. To a second prologue, or maybe just a basic TV thing: another episode.”