Breaking Bread on the 25th Anniversary of Big Night | Features


Because, of course, “Big Night” is about a restaurant that shuts down, a restaurant that fails. The film takes place over the course of a few days, as Secondo tries to find a way to keep his and Primo’s flailing restaurant, Paradise, from going under. Despite Primo’s genius, the restaurant is doing anemic business due to the fact—at least according to rival, but avuncular, restaurateur Pascal (Ian Holm)—that the chef is too precious about his food and is unwilling to make any concessions to what American customers unfamiliar with Southern Italian food at its purest might want to eat. Indeed, when Secondo suggests to Primo that they maybe take the expensive and unpopular seafood risotto off the menu, Primo thinks they could replace it hot dogs. “They might like that,” he says.

In a last-ditch effort to save their business, Secondo, with Pascal’s help, sets up an invitation-only dinner party at Paradise, at which will be a journalist to cover the event, because, so Pascal has promised, his friend, the great jazz bandleader and singer Louis Prima will be making an appearance. So the stage is set for a mostly light, occasionally romantic, and very funny comedy, but one grounded in everyday realism, and also fraught not just with the suspense inherent in seeing if Secondo’s plan will pay off, but also with subplots that the audience knows will eventually blow something up—specifically the revelation that Secondo is cheating on his girlfriend Phyllis (Minnie Driver) with Gabriella (Isabella Rossellini), who also happens to be Pascal’s wife. Needless to say, every one of these people will be at the party.

Twenty-five years on, “Big Night” holds up like gangbusters. As funny, and as filled with wonderful, charming performances as the film is—Tucci and Shalhoub are both basically perfect, Holm acts like a wild imp throughout, Driver effortlessly gives the kind of performance that used to be called “winning”—it is nevertheless infused throughout with an unavoidable melancholy. There’s a terrific shot, just before the dinner party gets started, just before the real night’s work kicks off, of Cristiano (Marc Anthony), the Paradise’s busboy and waiter, stepping outside, into the dusk, to smoke a cigarette, and the camera lifts up into the air to show the emptiness and quiet of the New Jersey street. This cuts to a pan down the long table and its simple, elegant glass-and-silverware, white napkins and tablecloth, before tilting up to Secondo, Primo, and Cristiano, standing together, dressed for work, all to the strains of Matteo Salvatore’s gorgeous “Mo Ve’la Bella Mia Da La Muntagna.” The shot sets up a rather intense feeling of anticipation for the party about to begin (somewhat counterintuitively, given the gentleness of the two shots), but also feels ineffably sad. Somehow, perhaps, the audience knows what’s to come.

You can view the original article HERE.



Listening to Kenny G movie review (2021)
Michael J. Fox Only Now Understands Why Back To The Future Is Still Loved
The Unloved, Part 96: Hail Mary
Paul Thomas Anderson Delivers a Mesmerizing Seventies Romance
Early Release: Madilyn Bailey Sings a Song Made of Hate Comments – America's Got Talent 2021
Watch Dave Grohl and daughter Violet cover Amy Winehouse’s ‘Take The Box’
Artist Spotlight: Rocky Kramer
Lady Gaga shares how minor role on The Sopranos informed her acting career – Music News
Walker Season 2 Episode 5 Review: Partners and Third Wheels
Netflix Releases Full Schedule for Stranger Things Day Celebration
Learn English With Disney Movies | BRAVE
A Million Little Things Season 4 Episode 8 Review: The Things We Keep Inside
How Sports Betting Works With Computer Picks
Cannabis Consumption Methods for Athletes
How to Start Streaming TV at Home?
How Martial Arts Help Boost Energy and Health?
Dream Doll Reveals An Important Day For Her
Miss Kentucky Elle Smith has been crowned the winner of Miss USA 2021
Insecure: Molly and Taurean’s Relationship in Season 5
‘RHOA’ Star Sheree Whitfield’s BF Pissed at Bravo, Wants Footage Scrubbed
Editor’s Pick: Elastique Lymphatic Drainage Leggings
Best Black Friday Deals on Women’s Boots 2021
The Daily Celebrates December Cover Stars Candice Swanepoel And Emmanuel Taku At W South Beach
Fashion Stocking Stuffers Under $50