July 07, 2005

Andy Garcia

You can barely recognize him in “Confidence.” He looks faded and corrupt as Gunther Butan. But slowly his familiar face starts to peer through the salt-pepper facial hair and character lines and you recognize him from memory. This is one of my favorite Garcia performances, even though it’s a supporting role with little screen time. Check out an early scene in which Butan confronts 2 crooked cops. The film also features a tasty change of pace for Dustin Hoffman.

In “Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead” he nails the quintessential Andy Garcia character. Jimmy “The Saint” Tosnia is slick, resourceful and determined… a bit of Cary Grant via David Niven. A surprise if you’ve never seen it, and a very underrated movie.

According to the Internet Movie Database, Andy Garcia was born in Havana (the quality shows, doesn’t it?) in 1958. Aside from the fact that he’s given the world a wonderful assortment of memorable movie characters, one of the things I find interesting about Garcia is that he’s capable of playing diverse backgrounds and ethnicities.

When I saw him in “Hero,” it gave me the idea to write a film in which he would play José Martí. What a movie that would be! (Garcia & I are already older than Martí was at his untimely death in battle at Dos Rios in 1895).

In “Night Falls on Manhattan,” Garcia plays a young assistant DA facing the toughest case of his life, which brings him into direct confrontation with his father, a retired cop. The film serves up a rare complexity in character and story, making it another great find in today’s video store movie glut.

In “Ocean’s Eleven,” Garcia’s Terry Benedict is calculating and exacting, a quality that he projects with his eyes and the art of understatement.

Other notable Andy Garcia films: “Dead Again,” “The Untouchables,” “Black Rain,” “Godfather III,” “Internal Affairs,” “When A Man Loves A Woman,” “The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca,” “The Man from Elysian Fields,” the documentary “Cachao,” and others.

Check out a complete list of Andy Garcia films at the Internet Movie Database: http://imdb.com/name/nm0000412/.



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