Actor Andy Garcia, who earned an Academy Award nomination for his role in 1990’s The Godfather: Part III, has never understood the criticism the Oscar-worthy sequel has received over the last 30 years. During a recent interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Garcia discussed the release of The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone, a new version of the film recut by director Francis Ford Coppola.
“I never had an issue with the first one, but I am very close to it,” Garcia told HR. “There is a clarity to this [new] version that Francis wanted.”
While The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II are considered by cinema pundits as two of the greatest films ever made (both won the Best Picture Oscar), the final entry into the trilogy was marred by criticism, especially for the performance of actress and Coppola’s real-life daughter Sofia, who is now an acclaimed filmmaker.
Garcia explained to HR that actress Winona Ryder was originally cast but had to leave the production per doctor’s orders. Sofia Coppola was then tapped at the last minute to fill the role of Michael Corleone’s (Al Pacino) daughter Mary.
“I thought a lot of things were unjust about [the criticism], especially how Sofia was treated,” Garcia said. “I think if people revisit this film, they will see a very honest, deep and soulful performance by Sofia. I think there is great tragedy in the character, a very courageous performance, and I am very proud of the work we did.”
The Godfather: Part III went on to earn seven Oscar nominations, including one for Best Picture. It lost to Kevin Costner’s Dances with Wolves.
The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone will have a limited theatrical release Dec. 4. It hits Blu-ray and digital platforms Dec. 8.