Picks and Pans Review: Getting Gotti
updated 05/09/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 05/09/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT
In this docudrama, Lorraine Bracco plays Diane Giacalone, an assistant U.S. attorney who devoted many years to bringing down New York City Mob boss John Gotti (Tony Denison). But the 1987 trial in which she prosecuted Gotti and six other defendants ended in acquittal, a verdict later clouded by charges of jury tampering.
The film labors from the opening scenes to establish that the fates of Giacalone and Gotti are intertwined, that they are two sides of a coin from the same Italian-American neighborhood.
This movie runs on alternating current. Every time the camera is on the swaggering Denison the mood is electric. He helps paint a dark portrait of New York City Mob life, where brutal men plot violence and extract tribute from the back rooms of seedy social clubs. Switch over to Bracco, with her lazy, disinterested manner, and the excitement evaporates. Casting Mercedes Ruehl in her role would have improved this film immeasurably.
The problem with Getting Gotti is that it keeps losing Gotti.