Won: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Score, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Production Design
Nominated: Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actors, Best Costume Design
The Godfather and its sequel remain the only original/sequel combination to both win Best Picture in the history of the Academy Awards. Debate rages on as to which is the best of the two. But what is beyond doubt is that The Godfather Pt II is one of the greatest films ever made.
Chronicling the rise of an Italian American crime family through the course of the twentieth century, Coppola’s continuation of the Godfather story expands the scope of the first film, encompassing not just the rise of of Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) as the Don of the Corleone Family in the late 1950s, but also that of his father Vito, played by Marlon Brando in the first Godfather film, in the 1920s. Having escaped his Sicilian upbringing, Vito’s ascendency to the top of the criminal underworld has parallels with Michael’s own ruthless consolidation of his business interests in the 1950s, even as he seeks to move the Corleones into more legitimate terrain. In the process, The Godfather II offers a totemic commentary on the immigrant experience in America, the rise of organised crime, the emergence of Las Vegas as a gambling and cultural powerhouse, the battle over Cuba, and the face of a changing America.
Boasting some of the most iconic moments in cinema history, The Godfather Pt II is particularly notable for being the first film to star both Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. Given that The Irishman is one of the current frontrunners for Best Picture in 2020, it feels like a particularly fitting year to revisit Francis Ford Coppola’s totemic masterpiece, presented here in a luminous 4K print.
Part of Best Pictures, our season celebrating some of the best prize winners (and most controversial near misses) from the history of the Academy Awards.