Is it just me or can everyone see it? Is James Gandolfini turning into Bill Cochrane before our very eyes? I’ve mentioned Bill before. He’s Saatchi & Saatchi’s Worldwide CFO and a key partner of mine in running the global business. He’s dedicated 25 years of his life to the cause and has seen it all. But I doubt he ever thought he’d get to see Tony Soprano become Bill Cochrane.
Let me explain. The film Lonely Hearts is based on a true story set just after the Second World War in the U.S. It tells the story of a modern day Bonnie and Clyde who turn into serial killers of lonely women. As you will have guessed, the movie stars Gandolfini, who is joined by John Travolta, and they play two detectives who track the killers and bring them to the electric chair. Gandolfini is the narrator, and for those of you who don’t know him, I can tell you he not only sounds like Bill, but as the movie progresses, he looks more and more like him. Gandolfini’s narration is spoken with the same New Jersey accent, the same tonality and the exact same rhythm as Bill’s. His size, presence and demeanor are identical. He’s always on the lookout for possible trouble and tells Travolta stuff nobody else can. Sometimes he’s right, sometimes he’s wrong, but he always tells it the way he sees it and he always tells it with Travolta’s interest at heart. Gee, that sounds familiar!
The movie itself is really well directed and features a magnetic performance from Salma Hayek. Her power, passion and manipulative psyche are simply brilliant. She was electric with Antonio Banderas in Desperado and she is magnificent here. Hayek reminds me very much of Anjelica Huston at her best. The film is a period piece. Prop jets fly from Idlewild, there are great cars from the late 1940’s, terrific shoulder-padded suits, Borsalino hats and big trench coats. All very satisfying and Justice prevails. Shout yourself a night at the movies. Go see Big Bill in action.