9.The Godfather Epic
Watched May 21st, 2016
When Michael tells his father "I'll take care of everything. I'm with you now" while Vito is helpless and unconscious in his hospital bed has always been the moment I thought Michael made the decision. But in this rewatch, I realize I'm wrong. Michael knows what he's going to do (even to murder and evading the law) when he spends the evening with Kay before and tells her to go back to her parents.
He's seen Sonny's operation and leadership up close. And he suspects already that he'll have to take on his father's role eventually. Watching with this understanding makes the whole rest of the movie a little more tragic, especially the end of Part 2, with Michael alone in the fall.
Michael understands that Sonny will never last as Don. So now, or later, he'll be called upon to save the family and his father's legacy. And he chooses the hard path. The path that loses him Kay (although he thinks later there's room for her too). What a sad and strong choice! What a perfect and multi-faceted performance from Pacino! How amazing is it that we get to revisit this movie over and over again, and even in new ways like this Godfather epic from HBO. This version has existed in other forms and mediums before but I've never before seen it in its entirety. And perhaps no one (before now) has seen this precise mix of chronological scenes with deleted scenes.
For some reason this edit makes certain makes stick out. Watching Michael learn or Fredo's betrayal, for instance, hits particularly hard in this version.
It's really something. Not the way to see the movie for the first time by any means, but definitely something amazing for the true Godfather lover. Kudos to HBO for paying for it.