Mention the name “Capone,” and I’m sure the first thing to come to your mind is Robert DeNiro…and Al Capone too. DeNiro’s performance is the definitive Capone and serves as a fair warning to anyone attempting to match it. Tom Hardy is now at-bat (pun intended) in Josh Trank’s Capone.
The film takes place over the last year of Alphonse Gabriel Capone’s life. At age 47, Al Capone was released early from federal prison due to his development of advanced dementia from an untreated case of syphilis. He now lives in Florida with his wife, Mae (Linda Cardellini) and son, Junior (Noel Fisher). And on this Thanksgiving, Capone has his rather large extended family over for the festivities.
“…takes place over the last year of Capone’s life…[and] his development of advanced dementia…”
Our story goes down three tracks that intertwine at the end. The first depicts Capone himself and his slow inability to grasp reality. His mind drifts in-and-out of various visions, hallucinations, and flashbacks to his pre-prison mob life seamlessly. At times, he “sees” federal agents everywhere spying on him, though no one else can see them. He struggles to hold back his racism toward his Latinx gardener, suspicious that he’s stealing. He then easily slips into the most violent moments of his past.
The second track is Capone’s family: Mae and Junior. Slowly, Capone’s artwork and valuables are being sold off as he is no longer bringing in money. Mae is the stalwart wife to ‘Phonse. She accepted him back after prison and now cares for him by attending to his basic bodily functions and protecting him from the other “family.” Her frustration rises as his condition worsens.
Lastly, there are the feds. The FBI is still investigating Capone. He talks secretly about a ten million dollar stash, but can’t remember where it is. The feds have his home bugged and sent his shrink Karlock (Kyle MacLachlan) in to get him to reveal the location.
"…those who have dementia, Al Capone is not that subject you want to use."