The Cotton Club (1984)

Francis Ford Coppola directs Richard Gere, Diane Lane and Bob Hoskins in this gangster fantasy where a jazz musician, dame and tap dancer circle the hoods who run New York.

Bob Hoskins is electric in this. He stands head and shoulders above an eclectic cast, has wonderful chemistry with Fred Gwynn , who also charms as a towering enforcer. The movie itself is gorgeous, rich, busy with moments. A frenetic place and splattering of dance numbers set it out from other Godfather wannabes. The Godfather is opera, this is jazz. Yet the sexiness of Diane Lane aside, it is also cold, inhuman. A cartoon. A re-enactment. Lots happens around The Cotton Club, very little we connect to. The black players subplots starring Gregory Hines feel just as sidelined and segregated as the characters real life counterparts would have. So much work has been put into this feature, but no real love or care.

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