The Funeral (Ferrara, 1996)

With this lifeless and almost funny (bad) throwback to the 1930’s gangster film, director Abel Ferrara raises a mallet to the genre and mashes the life out of it. The story comes across overly serious, navigating the tragic setting surrounding a family of brothers attending the funeral of their youngest. The typical melodramatic themes fall flat; jealousy, revenge, madness, and greed all get mixed up with some artificial style and self-importance. The cast (led by Ferrara staple Christopher Walken) looks lost, unable to glean a fragment of sense from the muddled and silly script. Watching this made me pine for the Coen’s Miller’s Crossing.

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