This review doesn’t have any major spoilers!
From Saint to Soprano
The Many Saints of Newark is the precursor to Tony Soprano and everyone that worked under him. In this movie, Tony is growing up under the wings of his uncle. It’s Dickie Moltisanti that will hopefully steer him in the right direction and not end up in prison like his father Johnny Soprano. If you’ve watched any episode of The Sopranos, you see things didn’t go as intended for Tony or Dickie. It’s a how is s/he related to her or him and unlike the ending of the show, there’s no doubt which characters live, and which ones die. I’m still convinced Tony Soprano was another Teflon Don in the final episode of the show. The main character of Tony involves who influences him as a teenager and to what extent it affects him as an adult. It’s not wonder why he married Carmela after seeing his mother at a young age. It’s not wonder why he stretches the truth to fit his views on life. The bottom line is Tony really had no other choice but to be loyal to his family.
Doomed from the Start
The Many Saints of Newark begins in 1967 where the connection between Tony and Dickie is clear. He is a mentor to Tony. He is surrounded by Italian men like his father, Junior, Silvio, and Paulie. By the time he’s in high school, Tony’s less interested in doing homework and more interested in hanging out with his friends and learning bad habits from his family. They teach him early on that sometimes violence is the best way to go to get what you want. He learns valuable lessons including not embarrass fellow family members and keeping secrets within your own family is better than spilling the dirt. With the return of Johnny Soprano, by the end of the movie I felt sympathy for teenage Tony even knowing how terrible he would be as an adult. In a way, Tony Soprano still lives because as Michael Gandolfini plays his father’s most iconic role, it’s sort of now a complete cycle (except not really because James Gandolfini is still gone).
Watch the Trailer
Overall Take of The Last Saints of Newark
I have to say the cast was great. I couldn’t have envisioned better actors and actresses to play the roles in this movie. Vera Farmiga killed it as a young Livia Soprano. Corey Stoll did a great job as Junior Soprano. Ray Liotta showed his capability of being crazy as Hollywood Dick Moltisanti and calm as Salvatore Moltisanti. Alessandro Nivola as Dickie Moltisanti was character most interesting his mixture of kindness and savageness is exactly what Tony was as an adult. The familiarity of characters of Paulie Walnuts, Silvio Dante, and Pussy Bonpensiero made it all the better. Most of all The Many Saints of Newark was a nice trip down memory lane and when the credits rolled, I only wanted more.
I give The Many Saints of Newark FOUR FINGERS at 90%