"It's good to be in something from the ground floor. I came too late for that and I know. But lately, I'm getting the feeling that I came in at the end. The best is over." - Tony Soprano
If you read my newsletter, you know I love the current golden age of television. That all started with what I think is the greatest show ever, The Sopranos. A story that used the mafia to reflect on aspects of american life.
Actor James Gandolfini was the star of that show. A guy I saw well over 100 times in my neighborhood, TriBeCa, over the years. He lived there. Sadly he passed away yesterday.
I'm on my 6th time around watching the series in full. The creator, David Chase, is a clearly a genius. The acting and stories are phenomenal. But Gandolfini was beyond words. He could convey in a look, or a movement, in pure physicality what words can never get across. From rage to guilt to love to sympathy in one scene. Many say he was playing a version of himself or just a stereotype. No. That was pure talent and emotion. On par with the greatest artists, musicians and other exceptionals we so rarely see. Every nuance of that role was something special. Again, the show was about the mob, yes. But it also wasn't. It was about life, family, marriage, appetites, greed, guilt, happiness, good, evil, compromise, addiction and every human emotion that's part of all our experiences. I recommend that you watch it again at different periods of your life because you take different things away each time.
Even with all it had going for it - the actors, the scripts, and more - James Gandolfini took it to another level. He was a genius. Very sad to hear of his passing and my condolences go out to his family, friends and fans. We lost a truly unique and great one yesterday. - JH
Here is The Sopranos on HBO and his episode of Inside the Actors Studio:
"If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them." - Tony Soprano