David Chase, Lawrence Konner
Michael Gandolfini, Alessandro Nivola, Leslie Odom Jr., Jon Bernthal
Rated: R for strong violence, pervasive language, sexual content and some nudity.
‘The Sopranos’ has always been help up as one of the greatest shows ever created, with a starring performance by James Gandolfini that to this day remains unblemished. So why after years since it ending its final season would the creators decide to tell a prequel about Tony Sopranos uncle? More importantly, did it hold up to the iconic show?
The tone, energy, and pacing all feel like an extended Episode of the show but in all the best ways. The acting across the board is spectacular, and the man Joey Diaz gets some good acting bits. Returning characters portrayed by the new actors were all stellar, they all felt like younger versions of themselves especially the relationship of Tiny and his mother.
The story isn’t really centered around Tony, but it’s much more of a “Goodfellas” homage told within “The Sopranos” world. That’s even more so when you cast Ray Liotta as two brothers that are the angel and devil of this films main character, Richard “Dickie” Moltisanti (played by Alessandro Nivola). He carried the film and his emotional story arch is very impactful to Tony and his character as he grows.
Of course we have to address Michael Gandolfini’s performance. It is a wonderful tribute to his father while also paving his own style that’s unique to himself. I loved his portrayal and hope this was a cathartic experience for Michael, he did fantastic.
Leslie Odom Jr. is also excellent playing a character kinda in the outside perspective of the story but still playing an integral part. Hopi he gets more and more roles that he can disappear into.
Overall, ‘The Many Saints of Newark’ is a great addition to “The Sopranos” legacy. There’s great world building, acting, and if you’ve seen the show you will be greatly rewarded with a story for both new and old fans.