Pedro’s review published on Letterboxd:
The Godfather: Part ll continues the story of the Corleone family and shows all the consequences of Michael becoming the new Don. The film also tells the origin story of Vito Corleone and how he became that godfather from the first film.
In my opinion, the best scenes in the film are the flashbacks that tell the origin story of Vito Corleone. His whole journey of tragedy and rise is very well told by Coppola and Mario Puzo. Robert de Niro's choice was perfect. He manages to bring those characteristics that Marlon Brando did in the first film without looking like an imitation. It is a MONSTRUOUS performance that ended up earning him the Oscar for best supporting actor. The two actors who played Don Corleone won an Oscar. Obviously, if I didn't win... My God!
I said that the best scenes in the film are the ones that tell Don Corleone’s origin, but that doesn’t mean that Michael’s story is bad, quite the contrary, Michael’s entire journey in this film is a perfect continuation of his entire constructed history in the first film. Coppola makes it very clear that in this film the fall of Michael Corleone will happen. All his hunger for power will end up leaving him with no one, and the end of this film shows that. Michael sitting alone in a chair, with no family and no friends. He managed to be bigger and more powerful than his father, but was it worth it? Do not.
Al Pacino's performance is memorable. It is a crime that he won no Oscar for this trilogy.
I know It was you fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart!
Sorry, I couldn't resist.
Now, the question remains: The Godfather: Part ll is better than the first? Yes. What is my favorite? The first. I have a very special affection for the first film, very special indeed.
Ps: Kay (Diane Keaton's) journey in this film is fantastic too. She can't take that life and Michael anymore. Her whole journey comes to a head when she tells Michael that she didn't lose his son, she had an abortion. This scene is very strong. Diane Keaton and Al Pacino teach an acting class.