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Tetro is a 2009 drama film written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Vincent Gallo ,Alden Ehrenreich and Maribel Verdú. Filming took place in 2008 in Buenos AiresPatagonia, and  SpainTetro was limitedly released in the United States on June 11, 2009.

Plot

 

“Set in Argentina, with the reunion of two brothers, the story follows the rivalries born out of creative differences passed down through generations of an artistic Italian immigrant family.”

 

Production

In February 2007, director Francis Ford Coppola announced that he would produce and direct the film Tetro, based on a script that he had written while editing Youth Without Youth. Production was scheduled to begin in Buenos Aires,  Argentina in late 2007.[11] Coppola was attracted to Argentina as a location, “I knew Argentina has a great cultural, artistic, literary, musical, cinema tradition, and I like those kinds of atmospheres very much because you usually find creative people to work with.”  Production did not begin as scheduled, and by March 2008, Vincent Gallo and Maribel Verdú  joined the cast.  The Spanish company Tornasol Films and the Italian company BIM Distribuzione signed with the director to co-produce the film.  Production began on March 31, 2008 with a budget of $15 million, with Coppola using the production style similar to his previous filmYouth Without Youth.  Filming took place in La Boca in Buenos Aires and other parts of the capital city. Filming also followed in the Andean foothills in Patagonia and at the Ciudad de la Luz studios in AlicanteSpain.  Production concluded in June.  

In May 2008, during filming in Argentina, the Argentina Actors Association, an actors’ union, claimed that production of Tetro was shut down due to union members working on the film without a contract. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Local press reports say that script changes and communication problems between the multi-national cast and crew have extended filming days beyond regularly scheduled hours, and that some of the Argentine actors are still not certain of their salary.” The director’s spokesperson, Kathleen Talbert, denied that production was halted, saying, “There are no holds on shooting, no problem with actors. In fact, the majority of the Argentine actors have already wrapped the shooting.” By the end of the month, the union said the issue was resolved, reporting, “The lawyers for the producers presented the necessary documentation and recognized the errors that they had made. So now they are able to continue with production.” In contrast, Talbert reiterated that there had been no issue, and production was never halted.

 

Interview with Francis Ford Coppola & Alden Ehrenreich at SIFF

The entire project was edited using Final Cut Pro on Apple Mac computers in a specially designed large screen edit suite built by Masa Tsuyuki.

 

Reception

The film received generally positive reviews from critics. On Metacritic, the film has an average metascore of 63% based on 19 reviews.  Rotten Tomatoes reported that 68% of critics gave positive reviews based on 71 reviews with an average score of 5.6/10. Among Rotten Tomatoes’ Cream of the Crop, which consists of popular and notable critics from the top newspapers, websites, television, and radio programs, the film holds an overall approval rating of 71% based on 24 reviews.  Overall, the Rotten Tomatoes consensus was: “A complex meditation on family dynamics, Tetro’s arresting visuals and emotional core compensate for its uneven narrative.”

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 3 stars, praising the film for being “boldly operatic, involving family drama, secrets, generations at war, melodrama, romance and violence”. Ebert also praised Vincent Gallo’s performance, but claimed Alden Ehrenreich is “the new Leonardo DiCaprio“. Todd McCarthy of  Variety gave the film a B+ judging that “when [Coppola] finds creative nirvana, he frequently has trouble delivering the full goods.”  Richard Corliss of TIME  gave the film a mixed review, praising Ehrenreich’s performance, but claiming Coppola “has made a movie in which plenty happens but nothing rings true.”

 

 

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