By Calum Marsh
By Michelle Orange
By Michael Atkinson
By Simon Abrams
By Zachary Wigon
By Aaron Hillis
By Casey Burchby
By Stephanie Zacharek
Among Hollywoodized glosses on the Cuban revolution, if Sydney Pollack's Havana was a tracing from Casablanca, Andy Garcia's The Lost City stylistically revisits The Godfather, complete with multi-scion-in-tuxes dynasty, formal translated-to-English patois, deep umber shadows, concerns about "respect," meetings with sly Jews (Dustin Hoffman as an inscrutable Meyer Lansky), even old-timer (Richard Bradford) having a coronary in a sunny garden. In turnaround for two decades or so, Garcia's pet project (written by the late novelist and critic Guillermo Cabrera Infante) focuses first on three upper-class brothers (Garcia, Nestor Carbonell, Enrique Murciano) as the 1959 usurpation looms; then it falls into a long, moony romantic abyss involving a "widow of the revolution" (Ines Sastre). For no apparent reason Bill Murray (playing a nameless American comedian, or something) inhabits the margins like a non-sequitur Greek chorus. Staged with credibility and loads of Cubano flair, the film slows to a sludgy crawl, giving us lots of time to consider it as a pro-old-guard, anti- revolutionary elegylike a rumba-inflected Gone With the Wind, Garcia's tale bemoans the loss of easy wealth for a precious few. Poor people are absolutely absent; Garcia and Infante seem to have thought that peasant revolutions happen for no particular reasonor at least no reason the moneyed 1 percent should have to worry about.
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