After many years of basically working as a Hollywood gun for hire following his legendary triumphs in the 1970s, it seems Francis Ford Coppola is currently in the midst of an artistic resurgence. While I haven’t heard or read too many glowing reviews of 2007’s Youth Without Youth, it nonetheless appears to be a far more visionary and fulfilling work for him than what can be found in the 1990s phase of his career. Tetro continues this trend, widely publicized as being Coppola’s first original screenplay since The Conversation and a highly personal work.

The film begins with seventeen year-old Bennie (Alden Ehrenreich), who works as a waiter on a cruise ship, arriving in Buenos Aires in the middle of the night at the home of his brother Angelo (Vincent Gallo). He is greeted by Miranda (Maribel Verdú ofPan’s Labyrinth and Y Tu Mama Tambien), Angelo’s girlfriend. In the morning, he is finally reunited with the emotionally unstable Angelo, who disappeared over ten years ago, abandoned his writing, refuses to be associated with his family and stubbornly insists that he be called Tetro. As Bennie becomes accustomed to life in Tetro’s neighborhood, he discovers pages of his writing and goes about decoding them, gradually learning more about his brother’s strained relationship with their intimidating father (Klaus Maria Brandauer), a world-renowned composer, and the reasons for his self-imposed exile.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Writer: Francis Ford Coppola
Producer: Francis Ford Coppola
Starring: Vincent Gallo, Alden Ehrenreich, Maribel Verdú, Silvia Pérez, Rodrigo De la Serna, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Carmen Maura
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 127 min.

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