January 18, 2017

“Gotti” feature makes Ben Foster a made man


By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Barry Levinson’s John Gotti picture, “Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father,” has, at times, waffled between a legitimate entry into the realm of cinematic gangster pictures and a forgettable made-for-TV movie of the week. Some casting decisions added credibility, while other rumors (hello, Lindsay Lohan) threatened to torpedo the whole endeavor.

But while Joe Pesci might disagree, I’d say the latest hire helps put the film over the top in terms of needing to see what Levinson has cooked up. THR reports that “Gotti” has added volatile actor Ben Foster to the ensemble in the role of John Gotti Jr., an outstanding decision that should only bolster the film’s collective performances.

Foster joins John Travolta, Kelly Preston and Al Pacino in a film that the trade says “delves into [the son’s] relationship with his father, John Gotti Sr., the head of the Gambino crime family.” Travolta plays Gotti Sr.

All indications are that the “Gotti” film, while still an independent feature, is righting its ship after wild casting rumors, the departure of original director Nick Cassavetes, and an on-going lawsuit filed by Pesci.

Foster’s an excellent actor who brings immediate heat to the production. Levinson reportedly begins shooting his film in January.

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Photo courtesy of PRPhotos.com.

About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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