Rated 4.0

Francis Ford Coppola’s Tetro is a heartfelt operatic triumph. His first original screenplay since 1974’s The Conversation is a tale of sibling rivalry and generational family minefields shot in rapturous black and white and saturated with an emotionally rich soundtrack. Vincent Gallo is excellent as the human time bomb of the title, a talented Italian-American writer living with his girlfriend in an art colony section of Buenos Aires and in the shadow of an unfinished novel. Alden Ehrenreich (a sort of 18-year-old mash-up of Leonardo DiCaprio and Ray Liotta) gives a rookie breakthrough performance as younger brother Bennie, who takes short leave from his job as cruise-ship waiter to inject himself back into Tetro’s life and rustle through the tattered pages of their past. It is a bittersweet quest full of dramatic powder burns that is at first met with icy resistance by Tetro.