Written and Directed by: Peter Capaldi
Starring: Ian Hart, Kelly Macdonald, Brian Cox, Alun Armstrong, Tommy Flanagan
Released by: Universal Studios
My Advice: Don’t bother.
Toni Cocozza (Hart) is one of those people born in the wrong time. He’s fascinated with Vegas’ Golden Age, the Rat Pack, and especially Frank Sinatra. Toni lives some of his dreams by crooning a “Strictly Sinatra” repertoire in Glasgow lounges. While he has a good voice, he has Brady Brunch-permed hair and looks kind of goofy. He’s not going to be headlining on the Strip any time soon. Toni’s life starts to resemble Frank’s a little too closely when circumstances get him in close with the Glasgow Mob. He becomes the mascot for this group of “legitimate businessmen”. One member of this mob, Chisolm (Cox), tells tales to Toni of his time in Vegas during â€˜the good old days’. Of course, Chisolm asks Toni for a favor or two, to help out a little. His girlfriend Irene (Macdonald) gets worried when the favors and the jobs get bigger and more dangerous. Can Toni give up the good life before it gets him killed?
That’s the question you ask throughout the movie. It strays very little from this formula: Good Guy Falls into Bad Crowd -> Good Guy Convinced He Can Handle Himself -> Girlfriend and Older Mentor Try to Convince Him Otherwise -> Good Guy Comes to Senses and Redeems Himself. If you don’t twist the formula somehow, you need strong writing and compelling performances to stop the audience from skipping ahead in their heads. Unfortunately, the film’s dialogue is very boring. The performances are good, especially Macdonald and Cox, but they’re not great.
I found myself easily distracted while watching this. The mail’s here. (pause) A documentary on coal miners on TV. (pause) Look at all those clothes that must be ironed. (pause) You get the idea. And since there are no added features on the disc, it was that much easier to pause. Frankly, I can’t see anyone being interested in Strictly Sinatra. I sure wasn’t.