review by Bobby Blakey
There are few films in history that are as iconic as Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 masterpiece The Godfather, so it comes as no surprise that Coppola was able to hit gold again with the 1974 follow up The Godfather Part II. In 1990 Coppola returned to Mario Puzo’s world for The Godfather Part III which most consider to be the weakest in the trilogy, but worked to fix that misstep with the director’s cut release The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone.
Earlier this year Paramount took fans behind the world of the iconic first film with the Paramount+ mini-series The Offer starring Miles Teller, Matthew Goode, Dan Fogler, Burn Gorman, Colin Hanks, Giovanni Ribisi, and Juno Temple. Could this series bring something special to the legacy of this film or will dishonor the family code?
The Offer follows the journey of Al Ruddy, a Hollywood outsider who starts as a programmer & ends up producing one of the greatest films of all time: The Godfather. Over the course of the production, Ruddy, along with his assistant Bettye McCartt and director Francis Ford Coppola, contend with all the problems of a making a movie: from battles over casting & scripting, to the involvement of the real-life mafia. Paralleling Ruddy’s rise is the ascent of crime boss Joe Colombo & the Italian-American Civil Rights League, which condemns Mario Puzo’s bestselling novel. Ruddy’s film adaptation puts him & Colombo on a collision course that will ultimately make or break the movie. Hanging in the balance is Paramount Pictures, a last place studio on the verge of being scrapped by parent company Gulf & Western. Robert Evans, the iconic studio executive, gambles on The Godfather to save Paramount and put it where it belongs: at the top.
Being a fan like most of the films I was excited to see this mini-series and get that peak behind the curtain. Of course I have no way of knowing how much is factual and what is embellished for Hollywood, but from most of what I already knew and researched it seemed pretty on the mark. From the first episode I was all in and could not wait for the next episode. So glad I was able to enjoy it in this format and not have to wait form week to week for it because I would have gone crazy. I loved every minute of it and the way it is played out focusing on not just the making of the film, but also the dealings with the criminal element that was highly involved with whether it would be allowed to finish or not.
The entire cast are perfection with Miles Teller leading the charge and Juno Temple bringing a strong woman to the fold as his right hand person. They both have great chemistry and fight tooth and nail to get it done making them a formidable team in making this legendary production happen. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel of having Dan Fogler taking on the role of the Francis Ford Coppola, but he knocked it out of the park. He is one of my favorite parts of this film and seeing his interactions with Maria Puzo played by Patrick Gallo is so great. Everyone here brings their A game and knock it out of the park on every level.
Performances are great, but it had to capture the look and essence of the film and the time and it did just that. There are some great recreations of scenes from the film and set ups that take you right back to the film itself. There are so many nostalgic moments throughout the film once it starts into the actual film production that it almost enhances the already perfection of the original film knowing everything that went into to making it happen and almost not happening.
In the end this series is the perfect companion piece to the film series, but also an interesting look film history. This release offers up all 10 episodes of the limited event series as well as bonus content including deleted scenes, behind the scenes featurettes and more.
Grab your copy of The Offer when it hits Blu-ray and DVD on November 29th from Paramount Home Entertainment.