The Lost City (Andy Garcia). 143 minutes. Opens Friday (June 16). For venues and times, see Movies, page 107. Rating: NN Rating: NN
The Lost City, from a screenplay by Guillermo Cabrera Infante , is supposedly Andy Garcia 's homage to Havana, the city of his birth (he was five when Castro took power), but it's really a tribute to himself. Garcia the director gives Garcia the actor more lingering, pensive close-ups than Metro gave Garbo in any three pictures.
Trim the close-ups and move the ending back (The Lost City ends, and then just keeps going for another 25 minutes) and the picture might be a tolerable portrait of an upper-middle-class Cuban family that loathes Battista, then realizes that the alternative, at least from an upper-middle-class perspective, is worse.
Garcia plays Federico, who owns a famous nightclub that features ballet dance numbers instead of what you'd expect to see in wide-open Havana, 1958.
He demonstrates his integrity by rejecting a deal from Meyer Lansky to turn his club into a casino. As Lansky, Dustin Hoffman - who won't let an egotistical actor-auteur upstage him - delivers the two liveliest scenes in the movie.