The Offer

Directed by: Adam Arkin, Colin Bucksey, Dexter Fletcher, Gwyneth Horder-Payton
Distributed by: Paramount+

Written by Jeff Sparks


“The Offer” stars Miles Teller, Juno Temple, Matthew Goode, and Giovanni Ribisi with Colin Hanks and Burn Gorman in supporting roles. Each actor portrays a real-life person involved in the making of the 1972 classic, “The Godfather.” The show tells the story from the perspective of the producer of the film, Albert Ruddy (Teller), who struggles to get the film made due to corporate meddling. Meanwhile, the real mafia becomes involved in the project when mob boss Joe Columbo (Ribisi) gets wind of the project. Since I chose not to watch any trailers for the series before watching I had no idea what to expect, but I didn’t have much faith in it due to it only being available on Paramount Plus which is a streaming service that has yet to prove itself. Fortunately, I can say that the show is good, though not great. There are a few issues with over the course of ther series such as the lack of sense of time throughout the show, scattered with flat direction, and some immersion-breaking shots that were obviously filmed on sets with fake backgrounds (a huge pet peeve for me). Though there is a lot more to like than dislike with the show.

My absolute favorite aspect of the series is the great cast and the terrific performances they give with Juno Temple and Matthew Goode both giving two of my favorite performances of the year so far. Temple plays Bettye McCartt, a sassy headstrong producer who assists Ruddy on the day-to-day tasks during production and on set. In every scene, she not only steals the spotlight but also provides the only good comedy in the show. Two other characters who represent Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzio are meant to be the comedic relief of the show but come across as “Saturday Night Live” caricatures of the real people rather than as faithful representations. The two banter with out-of-place comedy that doesn’t work, unlike Temple who makes her lines feel natural. As much of a supporter of Temple as I am, I have to admit that the true MVP here is Matthew Goode who plays Paramount executive Robert Evans who oversaw Ruddy’s production of the film. Goode, who stayed in his hotel room and watched countless hours of old footage of Evans, totally transforms himself into the character. The way he talks, the way he looks at people, and even the way he moves is on point. The rest of the cast also does a good job. Teller is good as always and Ribisi plays his slimeball mobster convincingly. 

Another thing I liked a lot about the show is how it portrayed a true behind-the-scenes look at what a producer does, and also how tough it is to get a big-budget movie made. After watching this show I learned a lot about life in the film industry that other media like “Lux Aeterna” or “Irma Vep” didn’t showcase as well. Even though it isn’t the best show of the year, “The Offer’s” interesting look into the messy truth of the making of one of the most popular films ever made is what makes it worth watching, especially when Temple or Goode are on screen.

“The Offer” Trailer

“The Offer” is streaming on Paramount+.

You can follow Jeff Sparks on Instagram, Letterboxd, and Twitter.

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