Any short starring James Gandolfini is worth a look if only to see if he can stretch himself beyond his brilliantly acerbic portrayal of “Sopranos” head mobster, Tony. In “A Whole New Day” director William Garcia tells the rather predictable, but enjoyable comi-tragic tale of a man whose drinking problem is way out of control.
Gandolfini succeeds in delivering a carefully nuanced performance of Vincent, a drunk who wakes up one morning to find his entire apartment has been cleaned out by his wife, played by Kathrine Narducci also of “Sopranos” fame, understandably at the end of her tether, looking after the kids and coping with her often-absent husband.
Disorientated and distressed, Vincent calls on a fellow-drinking buddy, who proceeds to assist him in his predicament. Trying to figure out what happened, Vincent attempts to find his wife, hoping for reconciliation, but finds himself in a somewhat bizarre and downright hilarious situation.
“A Whole New Day” offers a glimpse into the dark and gloomy world of the drinker. Funny and tragic, the sad reality of alcoholism is depicted in a simple but affecting way. The conclusion is predictable, but nevertheless offers a poignant portrayal of a man in desperate need of help.
This is a slick and polished film that succeeds in its aims and showcases more of Gandolfini’s acting talents. The strength of “A Whole New Day” lies in great performances and high production values. This isn’t a groundbreaking film, but is a nicely shot, well-acted short, which deserves the exposure it has received thanks to Gandolfini’s participation.