Using house building as a metaphor for life, the film MAC explores the relationships between three brothers from a working class Italian family in Queens in the early 1950’s. Starring John Turturro as Mac, the film is also his directorial debut and deals with auto-biographical material from Turturro’s life. Turturro says of his film: “My father was a builder. He was also a great actor, the King Lear of his day–a very expressive man in a very expressive world.” After their father’s death, the Vitelli Brothers under Mac’s leadership, begin their own construction business. However, as the pressures of the family business take their toll on the Vitellis, each of the brothers must decide whether the memory of their father and ties to the family are more important than their own desires and dreams. Turturro clarifies that “It’s a raw film influenced by the Neo-realists…. *** These are people who would go head-to-head with each other during the morning and then have lunch together.”
Despite considerable foul language and a rather distasteful bathroom scene with the three brothers performing daily functions, MAC is an exceptional film. The actors are superb, and the overall thrust of the plot proves powerful. Although the brothers have tremendous love and respect for each other, their difficulties with simple communication and seeing things from each other’s point of view, proves their undoing.
(H, LLL, NN, S, VVV) Humanism; roughly 40 crude obscenities & 3 profanities; partial male nudity in bathroom scene & veiled upper female nudity in bedroom scene--once with prostitute, the other, within context of a married couple; considerable fighting between men on various construction sites & also, between brothers.