Strictly Sinatra

  • 2002
  • Movie
  • R
  • Drama, Musical

This offbeat slice of Scottish life strolls through a boulevard of broken dreams on the outskirts of MobLand. Toni Cocozza (Ian Hart) sings in the tiny cabarets of Glasgow, his repertory heavy on standards popularized by Old Blue Eyes. One night, his song stylings catch the fancy of an old gangster and his wife and, ignoring the admonitions of his accompanist,...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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This offbeat slice of Scottish life strolls through a boulevard of broken dreams on the outskirts of MobLand. Toni Cocozza (Ian Hart) sings in the tiny cabarets of Glasgow, his repertory heavy on standards popularized by Old Blue Eyes. One night, his song stylings catch the fancy of an old gangster and his wife and, ignoring the admonitions of his accompanist, Bill (Alun Armstrong), Tony accepts an invitation to the gangster's casino. In this private bistro, the mobsters make the Sinatra devotee feel like a somebody. Mob lieutenant Chisholm (Brian Cox) regales Toni with stories about his trips to Hollywood, and Toni becomes hooked on the tawdry glamour of gangsters. The singer lets himself get suckered into delivering stolen goods, and when Toni flunks a TV audition, Chisholm coerces the program's director to give Toni a second chance. Naive Toni doesn't realize the high cost of accepting favores from a made man: Beholden to the mob, Toni alienates Bill and cigarette girl Irene (Kelly MacDonald). A street urchin rips Toni off during a drug pick-up; Chisholm orders Toni to retrieve the goods and turn over the kid to them, which amount to a death sentence for the lad. The mob's pet crooner defies this direct order, then shows up at an underworld shindig and sings for his supper anyway. This could be Toni's swan song, but Bill still hopes he can devise an escape plan for Toni and Irene. Unlike backstage movies that cast high-powered stars as scrambling fringe dwellers, this shrewdly cast import showcases an actor whose singing ambitions exceed his range. The film plunges viewers into Toni's journey to tragic self-awareness and captures the seedy milieu of show business's depressing and sometimes dangerous fringes.

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  • Released: 2002
  • Rating: R
  • Review: This offbeat slice of Scottish life strolls through a boulevard of broken dreams on the outskirts of MobLand. Toni Cocozza (Ian Hart) sings in the tiny cabarets of Glasgow, his repertory heavy on standards popularized by Old Blue Eyes. One night, his song… (more)

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