The offer – Media Play News

John Latchem


With Miles Teller, Matthew Goode, Dan Fogler, Burn Gorman, Colin Hanks, Giovanni Ribisi, Juno Temple, Patrick Gallo.

There are many ways to interpret “The Offer”. On the surface, it’s the story of the quest to achieve a creative vision, no matter what it takes. On the other hand, it is a studio, Paramount, which is celebrating the 50th anniversary of one of its greatest achievements, The Godfathersensationalizing a unique period in Hollywood history.

The details as presented in the 10-part limited series now streaming in full on Paramount+ likely lean more on the side of embellishment than fact, bolstering the weirdness beyond the point of believability in some cases. But that doesn’t matter when the end result is as entertaining a guilty pleasure as it turned out to be.

Details of the making of the “Godfather” films are easy enough to find, given the plethora of bonus material on DVD and Blu-ray releases of the trilogy over the years, not to mention the countless books on the subject. The main inspiration for “The Offer” is attributed to the experiences of producer Albert S. Ruddy, thus making him the central figure of the series.

Ruddy (Miles Teller) is introduced as a bored programmer at the Rand Corporation who, through a chance meeting, ends up creating “Hogan’s Heroes” for CBS (in truth, Ruddy’s Hollywood background dates back to before his time at Rand).

Wanting to break into film, Ruddy convinces Paramount boss Robert Evans (Matthew Goode) to give him a shot with a low-budget film starring Robert Redford.

Meanwhile, Mario Puzo (Patrick Gallo) writes The Godfather, which happens to be one of the best-selling novels of all time. Paramount owns the rights to make a movie version, but parent company Gulf + Western doesn’t want to risk too much money on another “gangster pic,” so they stick Ruddy on it.

Ruddy immediately breaks convention by hiring Puzo to write the script (Hollywood has long had taboos on creatives crossing media – from TV to movies, novels to screenplays, etc.). When Puzo’s efforts stall, Ruddy taps Francis Ford Coppola (Dan Fogler) to direct – another controversial move given Coppola’s disastrous track record as a director despite an Oscar win for writing. Patton. Coppola is reluctant at first, but agrees to the project based on the authenticity of an epic story about an Italian family.

Sticking Puzo and Coppola in a house together to hash out the script (even though in real life they supposedly worked on it separately), Ruddy then has to face a bigger hurdle in the film – the opposition of the mob she -even, who sees the book as an insult. Frank Sinatra is particularly offended by a crooner character from the novel and vows to stop production.

Now supposedly embroiled in the middle of a mob war against Hollywood, Ruddy befriends mob boss Joe Colombo (Giovanni Ribisi), who heats up the film a bit but doesn’t sit well with the corporate bosses. from Gulf + Western or Paramount. Meanwhile, Colombo’s support for the film attracts some of his enemies within the crowd who seek to replace him.

And so the series continues as a standoff between artistic integrity, mob greed, and corporate bottom line. The mob’s influence on the production has likely been hyped to draw parallels to the film’s script, while the series has no shortage of references to nostalgic touchpoints from the era that audiences will recognize, from other films to some of the actors for roles in the film. .

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As with most docudramas, certain events and characters are condensed and blended together for the sake of the narrative. For example, Colombo’s rival Joe Gallo is shown being eliminated because his attempts to extort production threaten the budget for filming in Sicily, when in reality he was only killed after the release of the film.

The cast is generally solid and Teller does a great job carrying Ruddy’s load, though his portrayal as a miracle worker and problem solver seems a bit over the top. Ribisi, on the other hand, is so over the top than Colombo that he seems like he’s on a different show. But most notable is Goode as Robert Evans, transforming himself so completely into an iconic Hollywood executive that he might as well be Evans playing himself. If Paramount+ doesn’t greenlight a docudrama on Evans’ autobiography The child stays in the picture starring Goode, something will be missing.

Thanks to Evans, “The Offer” indulges a bit in telling the story of Paramount in general in the early 1970s, when he was brought in by Gulf + Western boss Charles Bluhdorn (Burn Gorman) to turn things around. from the studio. As such, the show delves a bit into the success of Love storyfeaturing Evans’ wife, Ali MacGraw, and how their marriage fell apart when he started focusing on The Godfatherand she found herself in the arms of Steven McQueen on the set of the getaway. Evans is also keeping tabs on his next project, Chinese district, though his corporate overlords want to dismiss it as something they “don’t understand”. (Corporate stooges being idiots when it comes to art is a big theme of the show.)

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Those who know The child stays in the picture (the book or 2002 documentary adaptation told by Evans) might note a number of discrepancies between Evans’ own accounts of these events and how “The Offer” portrays them. For example, in the show, Coppola and Ruddy fight with Gulf + Western over the duration The Godfather is, preferring the nearly three-hour version we all know and love today, while bean counters want to maximize showings with a two-hour version (a classic Hollywood debate – the best-known recent example involving the 2017 Justice League film). Evans must rush from a drunken stupor over his failed marriage to save the longer cut, thus sending the film on the road to Oscar glory.

In Evans’ own account, Coppola shot a two-hour version, and Evans ordered him to recut it to make it longer, thus delaying the film from a Christmas 1971 release to March 1972 (a delay mentioned in the show that wouldn’t make much sense if the longest cut already existed). Conjecture on the edition of The Godfather occupied much discussion over the years, and Coppola’s own accounts would probably fill other volumes.

Because however imprecise it may be, “L’Offre” remains above all a love letter to The Godfatherand should only serve to build on fan appreciation for this classic film and love of cinema in general.

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