The Academy Awards 2022 paid a tribute to “The Godfather” as the iconic classic completed 50 years this month. A short preview clip later, director of the trilogy Francis Ford Coppola flanked by two of his leading men from the movies Al Pacino and Robert De Niro took to the stage to a standing ovation from an elated audience.
Coppola began by saying he would like to keep his speech “sincere and brief” and thanked his “wonderful friends” who accompanied him to celebrate the film's milestone.
“I would like to thank my two wonderful friends who have come here to celebrate with me the extraordinary collaboration legends… I can’t list them all and you know them all well,” the 82-year-old Hollywood veteran said.
Coppola ended his feud with late Paramount production boss Robert Evans, who for decades battled for credit for the original film's phenomenal success when he thanked him and author of the crime novel “The Godfather” Mario Puzo for the movies.
“…the name that appears above the film, Mario Puzo, and Robert Evans who backed the collaboration. The time is due that I do, because it was his participation and his decisions at the end that made it possible,” Coppola ended his brief speech saying “Viva Ukraine”.
Hollywood A-listers held a moment of silence at this year's Oscars gala to show support "for the people of Ukraine currently facing invasion, conflict and prejudice within their own borders." Russia's invasion of Ukraine has raged over a month now and the former Soviet republic has found immense support from all parts of the world. Several celebrities have condemned the war and donated generously to the cause.
Revolving around a mafia boss (Vito Corleone) played by Marlon Brando who passes his legacy of power and violence to his sons, “The Godfather” was unafraid to tread grey areas explored seldom in cinema back in 1972. The characters journey through complex emotions and situations and face off against each other in sibling rivalries in their ultimate quest for absolute power. Francis Ford Coppola along with Mario Puzo finally weaved elements into the final script to make a piece of art that won them the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.
The movie, a commentary on everything ranging from patriarchy, family values, brotherhood, the status and treatment of immigrations, politics, power dynamics, marginalization of women, crime and capitalism will continue to stand out for generations to come.
Al Pacino played Michael Corleone while Robert De Niro played a young Vito Corleone in “The Godfather II", a role that won him the Oscar for best actor in a supporting role in 1974.The movie was a colossal success and nominated for a string of awards including 11 Academy awards when it was released. The film was re-released again this year on its 50th anniversary.