Lifetime Film Review: Victoria Gotti: My Father’s Daughter (dir by Catherine Cyran)

I have to admit that, for some reason, I’ve always had a weakness of Mafia movies.

For whatever reason, I just find them to be fascinating, as well as terrifically entertaining.  And when I say that I love mafia movies, I’m not just talking about the ones that everyone else loves, either.  I mean, sure, I love The Godfather films and Goodfellas and all of that.  I can’t wait for the Sopranos prequel to come out next year and I’m eagerly counting down the days until The Irishman drops on Netflix.  However, I also love the Mafia movies that everyone else seems to hate.  Some day, I’m going to get around to writing a stirring defense of Gotti.  Just you wait!

I’m half-Irish and fourth-Italian.  As far as I know, I don’t have any relatives involved with organized crime and, to be honest, I should probably be offended by all of the Mafia stereotypes that I’m exposed too whenever I turn on the television.  But, I have to be honest.  If my father had been in the Mafia, I totally would have used it to my advantage.  I would have been like, “You think you’re some sort of big shot, like Frankie Valli or somebody?  Do you know who my faddah is?  You want me to call him down here right now?”

The Lifetime film Victoria Gotti: My Father’s Daughter is all about being the daughter of a very powerful man.  Victoria Gotti herself even narrates the film and appears in cut-away scenes to discuss what it was like to grow up as the daughter of notorious mob boss, John Gotti.  At the same time, Chelsea Frei plays Victoria in dramatized scenes, showing her talking to her father (Maurice Benard) and dealing with her good-for-nothing husband, Carmine (Elijah Silva).  Because the film is told entirely from Victoria’s point of view, we only see John Gotti through her eyes. In this film, John Gotti is a loving father who is often away from his wife and daughters because he’s either in jail or hiding out from the authorities.  He’s fond of saying stuff like, “Nothing’s more important than family.”  Despite the fact that Maurice Benard gives a convincing performance as Gotti, you’re never quite sure what’s actually going on in his head.  Is he a ruthless murderer or is he just a blue collar guy looking out for his family?  The film isn’t sure but then again, Victoria seems to be unsure as well.  Undoubtedly, someone like John Gotti had to keep a lot of himself hidden away from even those closest to him.

Because of the film’s Victoria-centric structure, we don’t actually get to see any of the standard mafia action.  We hear about people getting taken out by the mob but we don’t actually see any of it happen.  Those hoping for a big mafia epic will undoubtedly be disappointed.  (The film is nearly over before John Gotti even takes over the Gambino Family.)  Instead, the film focuses on Victoria dealing with people judging her because of who her father is and her subsequent marriage to the worthless Carmine.  To be absolutely honest, there’s really not much going on in the movie, as most of the major action occurs off-screen.  However, Chelsea Frei gives a good performance as Victoria and the film occasionally does a good job of contrasting Gotti family life with Gotti crime life.  It’s not a classic mob film but it does provide just enough Cosa Nostra swagger to keep the viewer occupied until the release of The Irishman.


What If Lisa Had All The Power: 2019 Emmy Nominations Edition

In a few hours, the 2019 Emmy nominations will be announced!

Since I love awards and I love making lists, it’s an annual tradition that I list who and what would be nominated if I had all the power.  Keep in mind that what you’re seeing below are not necessarily my predictions of what or who will actually be nominated.  Many of the shows listed below will probably be ignored tomorrow morning.  Instead, this is a list of the nominees and winners if I was the one who was solely responsible for picking them.

Because I got off to a late start this year, I’m only listing the major categories below.  I may go back and do a full, 100-category list sometime tomorrow.  Who knows?  I do love making lists.

Anyway, here’s what would be nominated and what would win if I had all the power!  (Winners are listed in bold.)

(Want to see who and what was nominated for Emmy consideration this year?  Click here!)

(Want to see my picks for last year?  Click here!)

(Want to see my picks for 2012?  I know, that’s kinda random.  Anyway, click here!)


Outstanding Comedy Series


Brooklyn Nine-Nine


It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

One Day At A Time



Outstanding Drama Series

Better Call Saul



Game of Thrones

The Magicians

My Brilliant Friend



Outstanding Limited Series



The Haunting of Hill House

I Am The Night


Sharp Objects

True Detective

A Very English Scandal

Outstanding Television Movie

The Bad Seed

Bandersnatch (Black Mirror)



King Lear

Native Son

No One Would Tell



Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Iain Armitage in Young Sheldon

Ted Danson in The Good Place

Bill Hader in Barry

Pete Holmes in Crashing

Glenn Howerton in A.P. Bio

Andy Samberg in Brooklyn Nine Nine

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Penn Badgley in You

Jason Bateman in Ozark

James Franco in The Deuce

John Krasinski in Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan

Bob Odenkirk in Better Call Saul

Dominic West in The Affair

Outstanding Lead Actor In a Limited Series

Hugh Grant in A Very English Scandal

Jared Harris in Chernobyl

Jonah Hill in Maniac

Chris Pine in I Am The Night

Sam Rockwell in Fosse/Verdon

Henry Thomas in The Haunting of Hill House

Outstanding Lead Actor In An Original Movie

Benedict Cumberbatch in Brexit

Anthony Hopkins in King Lear

Rob Lowe in The Bad Seed

Ian McShane in Deadwood

Timothy Olyphant in Deadwood

Jeffrey Wright in O.G.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series

Melissa Barrera in Vida

Kristen Bell in The Good Place

Alison Brie in GLOW

Rachel Brosnahan in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Veep

Zoe Perry in Young Sheldon

Outstanding Lead Actress in A Drama Series

Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones

Gaia Girace in My Brilliant Friend

Maggie Gyllenhaal in The Deuce

Laura Linney in Ozark

Margherita Mazzucco in My Brilliant Friend

Anna Paquin in Flack

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series

Amy Adams in Sharp Objects

India Eisley in I Am The Night

Carla Gugino in The Haunting of Hill House

Charlotte Hope in The Spanish Princess

Emma Stone in Maniac

Michelle Williams in Fosse/Verdon

Outstanding Lead Actress in an Original Movie

Shannen Doherty in No One Would Tell

Chelsea Frei in Victoria Gotti: My Father’s Daughter

McKenna Grace in The Bad Seed

Paula Malcolmson in Deadwood

Molly Parker in Deadwood

Christina Ricci in Escaping The Madhouse: The Nellie Bly Story

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series

Fred Armisen in Documentary Now!

Andre Braugher in Brooklyn Nine Nine

Anthony Carrigan in Barry

Tony Hale in Veep

Sam Richardson in Veep

Stephen Root in Barry

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series

Jonathan Banks in Better Call Saul

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in Game of Thrones

Peter Dinklage in Game of Thrones

Giancarlo Esposito in Better Call Saul

Peter Mullan in Ozark

Luca Padovan in You

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Limited Series

Stephen Dorff in True Detective

Timothy Hutton in The Haunting of Hill House

Chris Messina in Sharp Objects

Stellan Skarsgard in Chernobyl

Justin Thereoux in Maniac

Ben Whishaw in A Very English Scandal

Outstanding Supporting Actor In An Original Movie

Jim Broadbent in King Lear

Bill Camp in Native Son

Theothus Carter in O.G.

Rory Kinnear in Brexit

Gerald McRaney in Deadwood

Will Poulter in Bandersnatch (Black Mirror)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in A Comedy Series

Caroline Aaron in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Alex Borstein in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Anna Chlumsky in Veep

Sarah Goldberg in Barry

Rita Moreno in One Day At A Time

Sarah Sutherland in Veep

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series

Summer Bishil in The Magicians

Elisa Del Genio in My Brilliant Friend

Julia Garner in Ozark

Lena Headey in Game of Thrones

Elizabeth Lail in You

Shay Mitchell in You

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Limited Series

Jessie Buckley in Chernobyl

Patricia Clarkson in Sharp Objects

Sally Field in Maniac

Patricia Hodge in A Very English Scandal

Connie Nielsen in I Am The Night

Emily Watson in Chernobyl

Outstanding Supporting Actress In An Original Movie

Kim Dickens in Deadwood

Florence Pugh in King Lear

Margaret Qualley in Favorite Son

Emma Thompson in King Lear

Emily Watson in King Lear

Robin Weigert in Deadwood