Francis Ford Coppola’s Tetro Marks His Return to Directing Familial Dramas


Tagline: "Every family has a past; every family has a secret."

Translation: No, we're not talking about the Corleones here.

The Verdict: Much like with his last directorial effort, 2007's Youth Without Youth, Francis Ford Coppola has decided to forgo working on a big-budget, studio-financed film for an opportunity to work on a smaller-scale, more intimate project. The result is Tetro, a film he both wrote and directed, and one that stars Vincent Gallo as a talented yet troubled playwright living in Buenos Aires. Say what you will about Gallo as a person or when he works as a hyphenate, he remains an extremely compelling presence onscreen when he's concentrating solely on being an actor. For the most part, the film is shot monochromatically, but the glorious black-and-white shots are occasionally interrupted by bursts of fantastical color. The plot points that come through in the trailer are suitably murky, but what pleases us most is that Coppola continues to eschew the kinds of career decisions that led George Lucas to become one of the cinema world's most abhorred figures, in favor of getting out there and continuing to refine his craft.