In a fast 35-minute piece HBO, family and friends of James Gandolfini saluted a man they clearly felt was beyond measure. Though I won’t go into detail of every moment shown I will break down the seven segments this tribute was made up of as it describes the late actor.
** He was THE GUY shares with us that even in the early days of THE SOPRANOS James G. was the charismatic magnet that held it all together. Steven van Zandt shares that he, as a newcomer into acting, was quickly respected by Gandolfini and everyone else fell into line afterwards.
** It Looks Like MAGIC and it was when Gandolfini acted. A number of people noted how he could act through his eyes, his magical eyes and with what ease he could evoke his emotive powers in an instant and expected everyone else to give back that same intensity. There is a great clip of a scene between Mr. G. and Michael Imperioli shown two ways; a behind-the scenes rehearsal and the actual on screen moment that captures the MAGIC in action.
** ALCHEMY offers words from Edie Falco as she embellishes the last point made now from her perspective as she tells of the strong chemistry he and Edie had as Tony and Carmela Soprano. I was a mysterious alchemy generated by him.
** MR. COCK-A-DOODLE-DO is a segment that shows the humorous and generous side of James G. He was a funny man always bringing levity to the set and a teddy bear of a guy who warmed you with his smile and his hug. In this section Lorraine Bracco (SOPRANO’s Dr. Melfi) offers a great story explaining the title of this segment.
** The Real Tough GUYS reminds us that there was more to James G. than just the mob drama on HBO. There was his loyalty, respect and honor for the war veterans of our country. He was the driving force behind two HBO documentaries, 2007’s ALIVE DAY MEMORIES: HOME FROM IRAQ and WARTORN: 1861-2010 from 2010. He was a caring person who helped bring awareness of PTSD and how it affected our soldiers.
** It’s Like Tuning an INSTRUMENT gives testament from fellow actors about what a joy it was to work with him. He took such great care of his costars and took great precision with his characters and each and every scene that it was like tuning an instrument. The likes of Diane Lane & Tim Robbins from HBO Films: CINEMA VERITE, Jeff Daniels from Broadway’s God of Carnage and Julia Louis-Dreyfus from the big screen’s Enough Said all weigh in.
But enough isn’t said until Dominic Chianese (SOPRANO’s Corrado “Junior”) reads his original work about the late James entitled HOMEMADE WINE (the title of the last segment). It was a nice tribute to a well liked individual. If you were a fan of James G.’s work than by all means seek it out on HBOGo. It is filled with nice moments and heartfelt love. Thank you James Gandolfini.