This is James Gandolfini’s final film, and fans of this terrific actor shouldn’t miss it. It’s a very good movie, and Gandolfini, as Cousin Marv, gives a first-rate performance. The one by Tom Hardy as Bob Saginowski is even better. The movie wasn’t marketed very widely, and disappeared from the theaters quickly, but it was supposed to be an interesting crime thriller, which it is.
Bob tends bar at an establishment managed by his cousin Marv, who originally owned it. Marv had financial problems and had to sell the bar years ago to Chechen mobsters, who now use the bar to launder money made from their illegal and nefarious business activities. They “drop” the considerable amounts of cash off there late at night.
Bob is walking home one night after work when he hears whimpering from a garbage can. It turns out a severely beaten pit-bull puppy is in it. Bob notifies the woman living at the house with the garbage can, Nadia (Noomi Rapace). Fortunately, she used to work at an animal shelter and agrees to teach Bob how to take care of the puppy, which he names Rocco. They become friends.
The situation at the bar becomes untenable for Bob (for reasons I can’t reveal), but the movie has excellent performances, a creative story line, and the suspense builds to a high level. The movie is based on a short story by Dennis Lehane, (“Mystic River” and “Gone Baby Gone”), who also wrote the screenplay.
What has stuck with me ever since I have seen it, however, is the nuanced performance by “Rocco” who, without even uttering a word, totally inhabited his character.