While “The Godfather” and its sequel are widely regarded as cinematic masterpieces, the third part of the trilogy was eviscerated by critics upon its 1990 release.
Among the many problems reviewers had with the movie was the performance of Sofia Coppola, daughter of director Francis Ford Coppola. Not only was she hardly a seasoned actress, she also a last-minute substitute to play Michael Corleone’s (Al Pacino) daughter when previously cast Winona Ryder pulled out shortly before the start of production.
While Sofia Coppola has gone on to a successful career as the director of such acclaimed films as “Lost in Translation” and the recent “On the Rocks”, her father is preparing to release a re-edited version of the film that one of its stars says manages to make the performance shine.
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Diane Keaton, who played the estranged wife of Pacino’s mob boss, recently told Variety that Francis Ford Coppola had shown her the new version of “Part III” — and she loved it.
“It was one of the best moments of my life to watch it,” Keaton said.
“To me it was a dream come true. I saw the movie in a completely different light,” she added. “When I saw it way back, it was like ‘Oh, I don’t know.’ It didn’t seem to do that well and the reviews weren’t great. But Francis restructured the beginning and the end and man, I’m telling you it worked.”
While critics at the time dissed Sofia Coppola’s casting as Hollywood nepotism, Keaton said, “That’s not going to happen anymore. She’s what a daughter would be like if you had this guy as your dad, the head of a criminal organization. She was not so sure of herself and is kind of quiet. Kind of haunted. I thought she was fantastic.”
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“The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone” arrives on VOD on Dec. 8.