Set in the 60s and 70s, The Many Saints of Newark – otherwise known as The Sopranos origin story – offers a glimpse at future mob boss Tony Soprano as he tries to bond with his uncle and mentor Dickie Moltisanti (Alessandro Nivola).
The late great James Gandolfini truly inhabited the role of Tony Soprano so it’s bittersweet to see his son Michael Gandolfini step into his father’s shoes to play a teenage Tony.
But, lest the trailer fool you into believing this movie is all about young Tony, then its Nivola’s twisted “Uncle Dickie” who occupies most of the screen time as he metes out violence to rival gangs and family alike.
With Vera Farmiga and Jon Bernthal portraying Tony’s parents, Livia and Johnny Soprano, and Leslie Odom Jr as rival mobster Harold McBrayer, Ray Liotta brings his full mobster pedigree to bear as Aldo “Hollywood Dick” Moltisanti.
David Chase, the creator of HBO’s iconic mafia series, The Sopranos, came out of semi-retirement to pen the script for Many Saints, directed by series veteran Alan Taylor who settled into a post-Sopranos life helming Game of Thrones.
More of a standalone New Jersey gangster movie than it is The Sopranos, the film is at its strongest when revisiting the junior versions of familiar characters and while audiences might ache for more of young Tony, he nevertheless remains at the heart of the film.
The Many Saints of Newark is in Australian cinemas from November 11.