Diane Keaton says new version of The Godfather III will change opinions on Sofia Coppola’s panned performance

Ellie Harrison
·2-min read
Sofia Coppola in The Godfather: Part III (Rex Features)
Sofia Coppola in The Godfather: Part III (Rex Features)

Francis Ford Coppola’s re-edit of The Godfather: Part III has been applauded by Diane Keaton, who says it has made her see the poorly-received film in “a completely different light”.

While the first two Godfather films are considered timeless classics of cinema, the third entry, released in 1990, is widely considered a disappointment.

The new cut, entitled Mario Puzo's The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone, includes a different beginning and ending to the film.

Keaton, who starred as Michael Corleone’s wife Kay in the franchise, told Variety she was not a fan of the original edit of the third movie, but loves the new version.

“It was one of the best moments of my life to watch it,” Keaton said. “To me it was a dream come true. I saw the movie in a completely different light.

“When I saw it way back, it was like ‘Oh, I don’t know.’ It didn’t seem to do that well and the reviews weren’t great. But Francis restructured the beginning and the end and man, I’m telling you it worked.”

The performance of Coppola’s daughter, Sofia, in the film was described by critics as “flat, amateurish, and unconvincing”. Sofia, who is now a successful filmmaker in her own right, had stepped in at the last minute to replace Winona Ryder in the role of Michael Corleone’s daughter, Mary.

“That’s not going to happen anymore,” Keaton said of people criticising Sofia’s performance. “She’s what a daughter would be like if you had this guy as your dad, the head of a criminal organisation. She was not so sure of herself and is kind of quiet. Kind of haunted. I thought she was fantastic.”

In an interview with The Independent last month, Sofia reflected on The Godfather: Part III, saying: “It’s hard for me to watch my 18-year-old self. So much time has passed but it’s just weird to see yourself with all that baby fat. It was strange to see… it’s almost like another person.”

Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone is in select cinemas from 5 and 6 December and available on Blu-ray and to Download & Keep 8 December.

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