Francis Ford Coppola’s Tetro (2009) has one of the lousiest titles of all time. That—along with the casting of Vincent Gallo and Coppola’s own uneven batting average—was enough to make sure that his film got a very sparse release (through his own company) and that people stayed away. That it made it to Asheville in the first place is remarkable. That it only did tepid business isn’t. But the film’s reputation has grown since its theatrical release—as those of us who did see it suspected it would—and the Asheville Film Society is giving viewers another chance to see it in a theatrical setting with an audience. It truly is (as the director himself has said) Coppola’s most beautiful film—and it may be his most personal. It’s certainly his most amazing work since Apocalypse Now (1979). That’s a bold claim, but one supported by the film.
Now, I’m not a huge Coppola fan by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I appear to be one of the very few who don’t have at least one, if not two, of his Godfather films on my list of great movies, so I wasn’t really expecting greatness out of Tetro, which, of course, made the discovery of it all the more delightful. When I first reviewed the film, I was inclined to think that aspects of it might be viewed as a little on the melodramatic side. I suppose that some will take that view, but I’m no longer among them. The more I’ve lived with the film in my mind, the more I’ve come to think that the tone is just right.
I hope people will come see for themselves what an incredible work of art Tetro is. This truly is a very special movie. Check out my original review at http://www.mountainx.com/movies/review/tetro. I not only stand by that review, but I withdraw any hint of reservation I may have expressed then.