Strictly Sinatra

Director: Peter Capaldi

Scottish crooner Toni Cocozza’s vagabond shoes are longing to stray… in the direction of fame and fortune that is in writer/director Peter Capaldi’s light, entertaining yet easily forgettable comedy/drama. Ian Hart gives a terrific performance as Cocozza, who polishes his routines of Sinatra standards down to a science, presenting the perfect air of Rat Pack glory with his vintage permed hair and suits with a high sheen that help propel his confidence during small town performances in his Glasgow neighborhood.

After the wife of a notorious gangster (Iain Cuthbertson) becomes entranced by the old-fashioned twenty-something singer, he’s lured into their company of casinos and shady dealings led by the gangster’s right hand man Chisolm (Brian Cox). It’s at the local casino where he first meets cute with attractive, quirky Irene (Kelly Macdonald) who works as a cigarette girl despite not fitting the curvy mold of most showgirls. When he finds himself struggling to get a position on a television talent competition, the mobsters intervene but predictably as Toni learns, one doesn’t ever want to be indebted to members of the mob.

Although it’s a bit uninvolving and doesn’t engage audiences fully with its inauthentic plight and uneven balance of drama, comedy and intrigue, the musical selections are first rate and the likable cast augments this admittedly weak offering from actor turned Oscar nominated live action short filmmaker Peter Capaldi.