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Has points of interest, but the finished article isn't totally up to scratch.
Robert Mulligan is a director who can sometimes serve up a masterpiece and sometimes a megabomb. Take To Kill A Mockingbird, for example, an undisputed classic which would appear on most top 100 lists. Then compare it to The Stalking Moon, a 1968 western which is as boring as it is heavy-handed. In Bloodbrothers, Mulligan has managed to be inconsistent within one movie - aspects of his family drama are pretty good, other parts are downright dull.
Young New Yorker Stony De Coco (Richard Gere) is approaching his 20s and is at the junction of life where he must decide where his future lies. His aggressive, misogynistic father Tommy (Tony LoBianco) expects him to follow in the family tradition of becoming an electrician on construction sites, but Stony feels he has a better aptitude for working with children. He gets a job looking after kids at a city hospital, and finds plenty of rewards in the job, but Tommy applies increasing pressure on him to look for a more "macho", manly job.
Stony's dilemma is quite interesting, and the role is played pretty well by a young, impressive Gere. Tommy is also a strongly-written character, memorably fleshed-out by the reliable and ever-underrated LoBianco. In fact, on the performance front the film is somewhat impressive all the way down the cast. The faults in Bloodbrothers lie elsewhere. Walter Newman's script (arguably the least worthy screenplay ever to receive an Oscar nomination) makes too many unforgivable changes to its source novel; the pacing is less than ideal (the film is halfway through before it becomes apparent where the story is really going); and the broader social and personal issues in the story are never satisfactorily developed. As an acting showcase, this is good stuff but as an overall film it's not so good. There's certainly no reason why you shouldn't give it a go, but it's doubtful that this will ever be a film you want to watch over and over again.
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