Blame it on the Bossa Nova,” Edye Gorme sang in 1963. For me I say blame it on youtube. I was surfing youtube and clicked on a Sopranos clip and then another, then another. I began thinking what a shame that James Gandolfini is no longer with us. His portrayal of Tony Soprano is one of the finest acting performances in the annals of television. I’d watch that show and wonder if somehow David Chase had bugged our home, or snuck into one of our family Sunday dinners. There was more to Gandolfini however. There is The Mexican, Get Shorty, and 8mm where he plays a low-life that makes Ralph Cifaretto look like a choir boy. 8mm stars Nicholas Cage investigating the disappearance of girl who may have been murdered in a snuff film, but no more about Nick Cage for as I'm typing this I am now thinking of the soundtrack of Valley Girl. But, as I watched a few clips it dawned on me that I had not seen The Drop
I quickly corrected that oversight and have seen it twice. Did he save the best performance for his last? Possibly. It’s a very good movie. He plays Cousin Marv who was once respected; people sat up when he entered a room. Now, his bar is a front for Chechen mobsters. It’s a wonderful performance and his interaction with his sister is very touching. Also in The Drop is one of today’s best actors; Tom Hardy. Hardy plays Bob, Marv’s cousin, who helps run the bar. His performace is understated and shows once again, that an actor does not have to yell, shout obscenities to present an intimidating presence. I had been told about Tom Hardy by my son who urged me to see The Warrior with Nick Nolte. It was about two brothers battling for an MMA championship. It could have been a formulaic Rocky type of film, but Hardy is riveting, and Nolte as his Dad is great. Hardy has the ability, as the best athletes do, to bring out the best of their team mates, and Hardy does that with his co-stars. There is no diminishing the talent of Gandolfini and Nolte and they had to be on top of their game with Tom Hardy.
That made me think of him starring in Legend a film about the infamous Kray Brothers who ran London’s underworld during the 1960’s. I was familiar with The Krays made in 1990 with twins Martin and Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet, as twin Krays Reggie and Ron. But the star of that film was Billie Whitelaw who played their mother Violet. It’s not a bad film, it is worth seeing. But if gangster movies is not your cuppa then check it out for Billie Whitelaw. In Legend Hardy plays bothbrothers, and judging from the trailers does a great job. What little I’ve read of the reviews it appears the film is worthy only because of Hardy’s performance.
In one of the comments someone mentioned Morrissey’s Last of The Famous International Playboys as a paen to the Krays. Morrissey has a beautiful, mesmerizing voice and before going solo his band The Smiths were one of the most influential bands to come out of Britain regardless of the era.