The Rizzos, a family who doesn't share their habits, aspirations, and careers with one another, find their delicate web of lies disturbed by the arrival of a young ex-con (Strait) brought ...
See full summary »
The Rizzos, a family who doesn't share their habits, aspirations, and careers with one another, find their delicate web of lies disturbed by the arrival of a young ex-con (Strait) brought home by Vince (Garcia), the patriarch of the family, who is a corrections officer in real life, and a hopeful actor in private.Written by
Plotted somewhat like a farce but as emotionally resonate as the best comedy-dramas, City Island is most aptly described, simply and literally, as wonderful. The cast is unfailingly strong with producer Andy Garcia giving himself the meatiest role – to great effect. A few too many "dems" and "dose" may lace his New York accent but he is funny, sincere, frustrated and perseverant in a wide panoply of scenes with actors who have either been TV-type cast (Juliana Margulies), indie-film type cast (Emily Mortimer) or not yet had a real chance to really strut their stuff (Steven Straight, Dominik Garcia-Lorido, and a promising Ezra Miller). Alan Arkin pops in with his usual world-weary Weltanshauung but it plays wonderfully here.
Still, you can see good acting in a number of films (though not an ensemble as strong as this). What separates City Island from the comedy-drama mainland is a story that is both fantastical and yet credible. The premise of what befalls this particular prison guard is a little over-the-top, as are the nonstop (funny) family feuds, but it all feels real. The story detours into little tide pools of drama for each character and here, too, every subplot provides laughs – and it all comes together in a tsunami of comedy at the end, true to its farcical roots. But there's a surprisingly strong current of emotion too in a finale that argues secrets are probably best revealed when you feel least safe in doing so.
The best film I've seen to date this year.
39 of 52 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this