It works because we romanticize the mob during period of prohibition. The movies made the lifestyle attractive and exciting and to a generation who were born AFTER WWI. They loved the lifestyle of a 'gangster' without really understanding what that world is REALLY like. It all was 'just business'.
I am glad that Steve Buscemi got involved with this project. He just never lets me down. From 'Ghost World' to 'Armageddon' to now 'Boardwalk Empire' he always brought the right quirk to his many many many supporting characters.
Every scene had his deft touch. The detail here is great as is the cast. I doubt I have ever seen a larger group of magnificent character actors attached to a show in all my days.
The detail and production design is beyond impressive. The energy here is magic. I just get the vibe that everyone worked so hard to make work.
Prohibition, gangsters, woman's suffrage, whiskey, Jazz, floozies, the KKK, and a little of that old frazzle dazzle. I love every second of this. The frame is full to overflowing with delicious nostalgia eye candy.
How does anyone distinguish between one great performance after another when the Emmy awards rolled along last year. Buscemi, and the show was nominated but didn't win any of the major statuettes.
The camera work only draws attention to itself in the way that it actually sweeps you off your feet and takes you wherever it chooses to go.
I told myself that I should ration these but they are just too good. I am sure I will be through season one by tonight.
My gods, the costumes. Don't get me started on the costumes.
And then we meet Al Capone and all of the other real life gangsters like Lansky, Luciano and Rothstein. The scripts are based on many of the real life incidents that defined the era.
I have been a fan of this period in history ever since the documentary series 'Crime Inc.'
I have to point out my favorite character Jimmy played by Michael Pitt. He has the talent and energy of a young Leonardo DiCaprio and he is as much the heart of this story as is Buscema. We watch his rise from ex-soldier to mob enforcer.
Michael Shannon is mesmerizing as FBI Agent Agent Nelson Van Alden. He's a zealot with a religious devotion against alcohol. Just the kind of man that Prohibition would attract to government service.
Jack Huston as Richard Harrow, the disfigured war vet and sniper. Every second of his story broke my heart. Fantastic performance. Once in a lifetime portrayal of a character who soars with pain and nobility.
Stephen Graham as Al Capone. He's a coiled spring just that can explode with a joke at the same time that he explodes with rage. This guy is a dangerous psychopath who scares the hell out of me. You can't always tell when people are going to go off, just try not to be next to them when they do.
Oh and boys, can I get a little MIX with my whiskey? Drinking it straight without ice is not civilized behavior for a Renaissance man like myself.
Michael Kenneth Williams as Chalky White (I know! - the NAME) is powerful as a businessman who is trying to elevate himself and his people.
Last but not least is Emmy nominated Kelly McDonald as Margaret Schroeder, Nucky's love interest. She is more than a match for the criminal minded men around her. She nurses them, loves them, fears them and hates them but she never absolves them of their guilt or bad behavior. She is a constant reminded that their IS a better way. Nobody, however, will choose it and I am fascinated to see how this lioness influences her Pride.
Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness
I forever stand vigilant to protect this planet from the myriad of forces that are always against us. Be it the octopus, zombies, aliens or the robots my team of human agents, and our feline allies, circle the globe in a never ending struggle for human freedom.
I learn all I can on every subject that interests me. I especially enjoy ancient history because in the past there are valuable lessons to be found. Also, if I ever get my time machine to work properly, it would be good to know a bit about possible destinations and what to expect when I get there.
I greatly appreciate beautiful design. Be it manufactured or found naturally I am fascinated by the process of invention. I am attracted to the unique, the strange, the haunted. I like to share what I find on this blog.
And not let us forget the 'Cephalopod Menace' who, if allowed to, would wrap their tentacles around all that is good and pure in this life and crush it until it remained no more. They are creatures of pure spite. Hate is all they know. Death is all they do. They are our most ruthless and determined enemy.
So we fight. Selena has the celebrity contacts, the cat is ruthless and without pity, Roosevelt's ghost has the experience and I do the wetwork.
Fighting for the future of the planet doesn't have to be a chore, however. We can take the time to appreciate all that is cool in this world even as we cut the octopus into bite sized chunks.
This is the reason there has always been and must forever be, a Cave of Cool. Be sure to wipe your feet before you enter.