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The Funeral Movie Review

christopher walken ray ferrara

Johnny Tempio (Vincent Gallo) has been murdered, and as Ray (Christopher Walken) and Chez (Christopher Penn) recall their brother's short life at his funeral, they are obsessed with avenging his death. Whodunit? Gangster Gaspare Spoglia (Benicio Del Toro)? Ray's and Chez's wives (Annabella Sciorra and Isabella Rossellini) don't care. They are in love with their husbands and don't want them to die. “When I'm dead, I'm gonna roast in Hell. I believe that,” Walken as Ray says as only he can, then he adds fatalistically, “The trick is to get used to it.” What the Tempio brothers choose to get used to may not be what viewers want to get used to, but The Funeral, set in the ‘30s and scripted by Nicholas (King of New York) St. John (instead of Abel Ferrara himself) is at least a full notch above the mindless symbolic whack-off of Bad Lieutenant, with sterling performances by all.

1996 (R) 96m/C Christopher Walken, Benicio Del Toro, Vincent Gallo, Christopher Penn, Isabella Rossellini, Annabella Sciorra, John Ventimiglia, Paul Hipp, Gretchen Mol; D: Abel Ferrara; W: Nicholas St. John; C: Ken Kelsch; M: Joe Delia. Nominations: Independent Spirit Awards ‘97: Best Actor (Penn), Best Cinematography, Best Director (Ferrara), Best Film, Best Screenplay. VHS

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