Every Family Has A Secret
"Tetro sneaks up on you. What threatens to be a mere exercise in style proves to be as involving as it is inventive. Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
|Fresh-faced and naive, 17-year-old Bennie (Alden Ehrenreich) arrives in Buenos Aires to search for his older brother who has been missing for more than a decade. The family had emigrated from Italy to Argentina, but with the great musical success of their father Carlo (Klaus Maria Brandauer), an acclaimed symphony conductor, the family moved from Argentina to New York. When Bennie finds his brother, the volatile and melancholy poet Tetro (Vincent Gallo), he is not at all what Bennie expected. In the course of staying with Tetro and his girlfriend Miranda (Maribel Verdu), Bennie grapples with his brother and the haunting experiences of their shared past in this widely acclaimed film by legendary director Francis Ford Coppola.|
"A delirious surprise. Michael Sragow, Baltimore Sun
Almost four decades after he wrote THE CONVERSATION, Francis Ford Coppola returns to original screenwriting with this personal drama about an Argentine-Italian family. TETRO stars Vincent Gallo and features editing from the legendary Walter Murch.
Cast & Crew
3 stars out of 4 -- "The film is boldly operatic, involving family drama, secrets, generations at war, melodrama, romance and violence....It feels good to see Coppola back in form."
"Watching TETRO, Coppola's first original screenplay in some 30 years, is like eavesdropping on someone's dream."
"It has style to burn, eye-catching acting by an international cast and a story that harkens back to many literary classics with its themes of a family torn apart, brothers in conflict and a son's rivalry with a towering father figure."
Los Angeles Times
"[H]aunting....In TETRO, it is the seductive power of artistic genius and fame that will both leave a family broken and bind its wounds."
New York Times
"[A] visually lush cinematic fugue about love, ambivalence and two brothers fleeing the dark shadow of their domineering father..."
4 stars out of 5 -- "[A]n arthouse gem starring Vincent Gallo as Tetro, the eldest of two brothers wrestling with their estranged father's legacy in Buenos Aires....Coppola extends a timeless magic to the film..."
Wall Street Journal
"TETRO turns out to be not one movie but, at the very least, two -- a Fellin-esque concatenation of drama, dance and opera, and a modest, appealing coming-of-age story..."
"[W]eirdly riveting....As Bennie, Ehrenreich exquisitely portrays the target of Coppola's experiment..."
"TETRO again asserts Coppola's willingness to go far out on a limb stylistically....As a filmmaker, Coppola is once again at the height of his powers..." -- Grade: B
3 stars out of 4 -- "Shot in Argentina with widescreen black-and-white images that take your breath away, TETRO is a drama about family secrets....There isn't a frame of this raw and riveting movie that Coppola doesn't invest with feeling."
Sight and Sound
"[With] shimmering black-and-white photography....You have to admire the sheer defiant energy of the man."
3 stars out of 5 -- "There is an air of melancholy reinforced by the tango music and by the black and white cinematography, heavy on the chiaroscuro."
3 stars out of 5 -- "Francis Ford Coppola continues his comeback with this operatic family saga....You have to admire the 71-year-old Coppola's energy."
Chicago Sun-Times 7 of 10
Tetro may be the most autobiographical film Francis Ford Coppola has made. He said at Cannes "nothing in it happened, but it's all true." I guess I know what that means. He could be describing any "autobiographical" film or novel. The pitfall is in trying to find parallels: Coppola had a father who was a famous conductor, he has a brother he has sometimes argued with, his sister Talia Shire somewhat resembles the heroine of this film, his nephew Nicolas Cage somewhat resembles the character Tetro, and on and on. All meaningless...Better to begin with a more promising starting point: The film is boldly operatic, involving family drama, secrets, generations at war, melodrama, romance and violence. I'm only guessing, but Coppola, considering his father and his Italian-American heritage, may be as opera-besotted as any living American director, including Scorsese. His great epic Apocalypse Now is fundamentally, gloriously, operatic. The oedipal issues in the Godfather trilogy are echoed again in Tetro. The emotions are theatrical, not realistic...Coppola and cinematographer Mihai Malaimare Jr. have photographed the central story in black and white, which made me hopelessly desire that more features could be made in this beautiful format. People who dislike b&w movies are, in their sad way, color-blind. The flashbacks are in color, presided over by Brandauer, as a sleek and contented reptile. In a way, this is what his amoral character in Mephisto could have turned out like. Without the strain of being given a lot of evil dialogue, he communicates egomania and selfishness...Bennie has always idealized his older brother, picturing him as a brilliant writer in a far-away land, and is shaken to find the reality; Tetro's first entrance, on crutches, flailing at the furniture, is not promising. Gallo is not naturally given to playing ingratiating characters. He brings an uneasy edge to his work, and it's valuable here in evoking the deep wounds of his youth. In his first major role, Alden Ehrenreich, the newcomer playing Bennie, is confident and charismatic, and inspires such descriptions as "the new Leonardo DiCaprio," which reminds me of the old show-biz joke...Perhaps it was because of the b&w photography, but while watching the film, I recalled for the first time in years Sidney Lumet's film of Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge (1962), and Raf Vallone. Tetro has the same feel of too much emotion trapped in a room, and Gallo channels Vallone's savage drive. It was a good memory. Here is a film that, for all of its plot, depends on characters in service of their emotional turmoil. It feels good to see Coppola back in form.
- Roger Ebert