Strictly Sinatra

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Movie Review by Dr Kuma

Starring: Ian Hart, Kelly Macdonald, Alun Armstrong, Brian Cox, Tommy Flanagan

Director: Peter Capaldi

Toni Cocozza is a Scottish / Italian club crooner obsessed with Frank Sinatra; original so far, right?

Tony falls in with the local mafia (gangs to us) in the hope that they will make him a star. Of course, he only finds trouble.

Although he is drawn in by the gangsters and their stories of Vegas and the stars they met, he loses sight of what really matters, his friends and the local girl he loves; not so original now.

STRICTLY SINATRA obviously takes its basic storyline from the myths surrounding Mr. Sinatra’s early days and transports them to the British Isles. It’s a nice idea that doesn’t quite come off. This isn’t due to the direction (Peter Capaldi) or the stars themselves (the always excellent Ian Hart – one of the best actors around and Kelly Macdonald), but it’s the actual plot that seems very thin due to so much re-use. The plot seems to reflect the lines: “Nice and easy does it everytime”.

Brian Cox is excellent as the storytelling Chisholm, a guy from the wrong side of the tracks (no music pun intended) as are the rest of the supporting cast, it’s just that the movie is riddled with too many cliche’s. The script seems to revolve around music, which can work but in this case falls short (‘In the Ghetto’ and ‘New York New York’ – just a little too obvious accompanying scenes you can see coming a mile off).

Don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad movie, just not a particularly good one, which could have used the cast and the idea itself in a much more original way.

In the words of Big Frank regarding the story of club singer Tony Cocozza: ‘Requests he had a few, but then again, too few to mention’.

3 out of 6 stars