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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Fantastic character driven film

10/10
Author: raylynhan from United Kingdom
20 May 2006

This is a fantastic character driven film, with a great, slightly quirky script, some funny one liners and an excellent cast. Standing out among the uniformly excellent performances are the the great Chris Penn (brilliant as always), Michael Madsen, Tom Sizemore and James Belushi (yes, you did read that right; James Belushi).The film follows a group of friends in the period leading up to a wedding and details how this event impacts on their lives. It's that simple but extremely effective. To say much more about individul story lines would give away too much plot, suffice to say that each character's story is interesting, different and watchable, there are no fillers here! The soundtrack, which features among others, Bruce Springsteen, is superb and really suits the film; one of the best matches of film and music I've heard. This is one of my favourite films and one that bears repeated viewings.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

I can't Believe it took me 'til 2008 to Discover this.

10/10
Author: tolerford-1 from United States
19 August 2008

I am a fan of so many of these actors that I was delighted, channel surfing, to come in something after the beginning. James Madsen! Where can you find him anymore in a role that isn't violent, after Thelma and Louise? Virginia Madsen? She's always struck me as authentic. Mary Stuart Masterson, last I saw her was Fried Green Tomatoes, and she's just as world-class here. Jim Belushi -- this is his best role yet. Hal Holbrook broke his stereotype in one fell swoop.

The meat of this play is how well it transferred to film. The ease of these -- some of our best-- actors makes it palpable. It's subtle and stark, such honesty that other movies approaching this caliber pale.

I can't recommend it highly enough.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Slice of live film is very true to life.

8/10
Author: ktmphd (ktmphd@webtv.net) from Bay City, MI
8 November 2000

This character study/slice of life story is very well done. The cast is stellar and each of them portray their characters as real, the kinds of people we have all met at some time as we wander through life.

It is the first time I have seen the two Madsens together in a film hope to see them team up again. Sizemore, Halbrook, Penn et.al. all team up to serve a slice of life to the audience that shows real life to us, with it humor, tragedy, comedy, pathos, hopelessness and hopefulness.

This is well worth the cost of the rental.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Quite Good Ensemble Drama

7/10
Author: Mark Rinker from Easton, Pennsylvania
28 March 2000

I was very anxious to see this movie since it was filmed where I live, in the Lehigh Valley. It took a long time since it was filmed--about two years ago--to be released. And I must say I'm very happy with it. Great cast and it was a pretty involving story. The Florentine is mostly composed of short scenes between different pairs of actors, and it moves along at a pretty even pace, though it is perhaps a bit slow at times. Overall, I'd rate it a 7 out of 10.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Great character study

8/10
Author: ctomvelu-1 from United States
31 May 2008

From a play, THE FLORENTINE is a look at several friends whiling away their lives in an old Pennsylvania steel town. They are slowly preparing for the marriage of the sister (Virginia Madsen) of the local barkeep (Michael Madsen). Among the cast, who spend most of their time in the local bar, called The Florentine, are Hal Holbrook as a retiree, Luke Perry as a naif, Chris Penn as the local tough and Tom Sizemore as a newly minted parolee. Jim Belushi has a spot as a con man and Burt Young also has a small role as a loanshark. Madsen's character is the tie that binds this motley crew. Other females in the cast include Jill Hennessey and Mary Stuart Masterson, both of whom are terrific, although this is really a guys' movie. A great cast, a great play and a wonderful movie that expands the play just enough to keep us riveted.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Interesting flick, but way too long.

Author: harvestmoonfilms
30 August 2002

If you like rock solid acting and don't mind slow moving plots, then, this one's for you. The cast is TOP NOTCH, with fine acting and writing (interesting characters and storyline), and fine visuals. The problem is, THE OPENING. The last thing you wanna do is bore an audience for the first twenty minutes. THE FLORENTINE does this BRILLIANTLY. With a little editing, a little TLC, this movie could be first class.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Aims High

8/10
Author: jazzbow from Philadelphia. PA
17 February 2001

This movie tries to be great. It does not succeed but I'll take an effort like this over much of the movies I see out of Hollywood. I was reminded a great deal of the Deer Hunter (scenes in the PA town) in the look and feel of the movie. Beautiful acting by the great cast is the real strong point of this movie. The performances by Mike Madsen, Virginia Madsen, Tom Sizemore, Mary Stuart Masterson, Jeremy Davies and Chris Penn are believable. The movie has some great shots and an incredible soundtrack lead by Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and Bruce Springsteen. My only complaint is that it seems to have too much going on. There are at least seven different subplots in the movie. I got the feeling that much was cut out to make it to the 100 minute run time. This movie should have been allowed to be three hours. This is not the fault of the filmmakers. This is well worth the price of a rental or a purchase.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

A film that strikes an emotional chord.

8/10
Author: Brad K. from Wisconsin
29 March 2000

When I first heard about The Florentine, I figured it would be some violent crime thriller. After watching it I was surprised to find out that its a character-driven drama which strikes your emotions. The film has several different storylines featuring intersecting characters all of whom know each other and spend time together. As with all films with several different storylines, some are better than others. The best storyline in the film features Tom Sizemore (Saving Private Ryan, Bringing Out the Dead) as the man who left town and his girfriend and has come back just before her wedding. Sizemore gives the best performance of the film. He especially brings a level of pathos to his character. The scene between him and his ex-girlfriend's caring brother, excellently portrayed by Michael Madsen (Reservoir Dogs, Donnie Brasco) is the best of the film. Other than Sizemore and Madsen, the cast includes good turns by Jeremy Davies (Saving Private Ryan, The Locusts), James Belushi (K-9, Gang Related), Chris Penn (One Tough Cop, Rush Hour), Luke Perry (The 5th Element, Normal Life) and Hal Holbrook (Hush, The Bachelor). Highly recommended.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

One of the most disappointing films I've ever seen

5/10
Author: Rodrigo Amaro (rodrigo882008@hotmail.com) from São Paulo, Brazil
31 May 2012

Produced by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, Jeremy Davies, Virginia Madsen, Tom Sizemore, Mary Stuart Masterson, Hal Holbrook, Luke Perry, James Belushi, Burt Young, without a strong name writing or directing it, "The Florentine" was one of those good reunions of great people from Hollywood that resulted in one of the saddest films ever made, and sad in a bad way. Here's a film that wasted a little the potential of talented actors that didn't get a clue of what they were doing when they entered into this small work.

With not much of a purpose on sight, "The Florentine", of the title is a bar owned by Michael Madsen's character, a place where most of the characters will spend some good time in between their personal dramas before the great event in town, the wedding of Madsen's sister. Other event on course is the return of her first love, who abandoned her on the wedding day. Until we get to the party, there's the characters dilemmas about love, money, deceits, respect, meaning of life and etc, slow speeches that don't evolve to anything interesting and worth seeing. There's good moments like the ones involving Jeremy Davies trying to impress a beautiful waitress that doesn't want anything with him or Sizemore dealing with two crooks that robbed the naive Perry, who joined on a business enterprise that was a complete scam. The dialogs are uninteresting, most of the characters are real losers that don't have a thing to say except arguing about not having any money, but in the end everybody gets happy because they have the opportunity of being known as the common people, and common people all get together at The Florentine.

No wonder why a project with such a good cast is so below the radar and is very likely that Mr. Coppola didn't get his invested money back with this thing, and to think that he directed 11 films (between 1983 and 1997) just to pay the high costs of "One From the Heart", a box-office failure but an excellent picture better than "The Florentine". I wonder how many he had to produce just to pay for this one. 5/10

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

life changes

9/10
Author: dlafarm from Minnesota
7 January 2010

This movie seemed quite realistic - the actors do a superb job of creating their characters and that's what moves the movie! The scenes seem authentic to me, even though it is outside my own realm of experience. I just happened to notice the title and am glad I stopped to watch. I felt empathy with the bride and wanted a "happy ending" for her. There are some very well known actors there (including two from Saving Private Ryan), and I don't know why this movie isn't being shown on the other movie channels. It would give more people the chance to watch it. Well worth the time. Perhaps a different title would have induced more to view it.

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