Watch The Godfather of Green Bay
- 1 hr 30 min
The Godfather of Green Bay, a 2005 film directed by Pete Schwaba, revolves around the life of Joe Keegan, a former Wisconsin football star turned middle-aged part-time mobster, who tries to go straight when his life takes a turn for the worst. Tony Goldwyn portrays Joe Keegan, a charming and witty man who once played football for the Green Bay Packers. However, he soon discovers that his limited financial prospects after the sport pushed him to become a part-time mobster. Wanting a better life for himself, Joe attempts to go straight and start his own business - "Joe's Friendly Bar and Grill" - but he's sabotaged and robbed by the very people he once ran errands for. Depressed and desperate, Joe turns to his old friend, Bianca (Lauren Holly), who not only runs the local strip club but also happens to be married to the local crime boss, Big Jake Norquist (Mark Metcalf). Together, they hatch a plan to blackmail a former NFL quarterback, Tony "The Tank" Tagliano (Tom Lennon), into throwing the Super Bowl and garnering them millions of dollars. This act of desperation forces Joe to confront old feelings and ambitions while struggling to avoid the violent lifestyle he's trying to escape. The story is set in Green Bay, Wisconsin, the hometown of Pete Schwaba, who also co-wrote the screenplay. The football culture of Green Bay is a significant fixture in the film, with football even appearing during some of the crucial moments in the plot. The filmmakers very successfully persuade viewers of the pervasiveness of football in Green Bay, a city with consistently sold out home games indeed immortalized the football franchise, Green Bay Packers. The Godfather of Green Bay, blends a suspenseful storyline with a touch of humor and quirky moments, balancing the many dynamics, especially those between Keegan and his friend Bianca. The scene in which Keegan walks into her club after avoiding her for years is a shared sparkle of comedy and sentimentality. Schwaba's direction involves audience engagement through dynamic camera angles, setting, and soundtrack that perfectly blend with the tone of the film. Tony Goldwyn's portrayal of Joe Keegan is the central anchor, keeping the audience invested throughout the film. His performance is full of wit and charm, subtly showcasing Joe's vulnerabilities with each progressive scene. His natural delivery and unassuming demeanor make him an easy and relatable character, even in the face of unscrupulous acts of criminality. Lauren Holly equally delivers a competent performance as Bianca, Joe's confidant and somewhat reminiscent love interest as the film progresses. Holly infuses a remarkable edginess to Bianca's persona, giving off the impression of the businesswoman and femme fatale, managing to keep Joe around when he most needs it. The supporting cast provides steady, often humorous performances throughout the film, adding an extra dynamic to Keegan's journey. Notably, Don Stark's performance as Keegan's wacky lawyer, who delivers comic relief at the film's critical moments. Schwaba's solid cast direction is worth mentioning, given the movie's relentless story. The film shot on a limited budget, which is evident in some rudimentary, underdeveloped scenes, editing, or special effects, almost understandable for an independent filmmaker's restricted budget. Still, the movie very much benefits from Schwaba's art direction, engaging story and remarkable performances from the actors. Overall, The Godfather of Green Bay is a refreshing and engaging film, weaving in and out of comedy, romance, and crime, holding the audience's attention from start to finish. It is a film where the impact of football and the oddity of the characters are used to tell a story of love, loss, and redemption, highlighting the need for friendship and true kindness in life.