Film Review



Tetro is a beguiling film, definitely underrated and rarely discussed; I think it’s one of Francis Ford Coppola’s most interesting and personal films that he’s ever crafted, and I love how the narrative and visual style work to cast this spell of heightened familial discord with a nearly dreamy aftertaste that sometimes makes you question everything you’re being presented with. Set in Argentina, Tetro dives into the lives of two Italian brothers who are natural born rivals, and how the artistic passions that are found in their family have come to define them as men and as artists. Shot in smoky, gorgeous black and white by the eclectic and painterly cinematographer Mihai Malaimare Jr. (his work here apparently caught the eye of Paul Thomas Anderson who drafted him for The Master), Tetro unfolds with a graceful sense of classical storytelling, with shades of noir thrown in to jazz up the background. Vincent Gallo and current flavor of the month Alden Ehrenreich were both superb as the quarreling brothers prone to verbal combat, while everyone in the mostly unfamiliar supporting cast all provided passionate performances. Coppola apparently wrote the script for Tetro while he was editing his divisive Youth Without Youth, and looked to independent European financiers to produce this esoteric yet still accessible piece of cinema.


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