As Seen In: Not Fade Away (2012)
Not Fade Away, the 2012 release that reunited Gandolfini with Sopranos' creator David Chase, isn't a great movie, but it hums with potential. Obviously a passion project for Chase, the coming-of-age tale takes the temperature of the '60s via a wannabe rock band from Jersey. Gandolfini plays the father of Douglas (John Magaro), the band's most talented member, and he dominates all of his scenes. For most of the film, he's the tough stoicism of the older generation personified. A brick wall, this guy. His kid's grown out his hair and dresses like he just got off the boat at Ellis Island.
After he finds out he's dying of cancer, he asks Douglas to get dinner with him. In a scene so dynamic and sad it makes you want to call your own dad, he tells his son about falling in love with a woman he met during treatment. The man who has up until this point has only lurched about and griped breaks into a smile at the memory. He talks about how he considered leaving Douglas' mother, but how he couldn't. This candor-if there's such a thing as man to man, this is it. —RS