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by tt stern-enzi

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This is how I want to remember James Gandolfini. That bit of irreverence with a hint of the I just can’t be bothered with all this. Most of us will never forget Tony Soprano. The explosiveness of that character, the depth of hurt and sadness he had such a hard time expressing in the life he had chosen.

For my money though, it’s his performance in The Mexican that will linger. Winston Baldry was an enigma, but so enticingly in reach or so it seemed.  The hired gun babysitting Samantha (Julia Roberts) while waiting for Jerry (Brad Pitt) to accomplish his task, Winston wasn’t supposed to be the guy you cared about, especially when you’ve got Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts running around being Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts, but Gandolfini breathed some kind of life, some kind of wonderful magic into Winston. He became Samantha’s companion, the friend she needed and along the way, something in him opened up too. He had a moment outside his life and the history of violence that had been all he had known. Gandolfini let us see and experience that moment, one of those lives you can’t quite seem to let go of.

I don’t want to stop believin’ that Gandolfini’s not out there, ready to give us another moment like that.