Acting absolutely superb - Gandolfini conquers any doubts his talents rest at playing Tony Soprano - in fact - it's time we simply apologize for asking so much from television actors who take the plunge into films - especially after long successful runs. If this is ambiguous to you, compare it to Michael Jordon who had the (no pun) balls to quit at the top of his game to venture into the minor leagues in a quest to answer his lifelong question as to whether choosing basketball over baseball was the right decision. Any player will tell you despite the stigma of being the "lessor" league - very, VERY few even make it that far - and Jordon to not only be picked up but then to blast away giving it his all - good or bad - publicly and without apologies - well, he and Gandolfini have something few men do - the will, perseverance, and rare quality to let go of any past greatness in return for the rewards of moving forward and working just as hard at something going into are given no assurances at success.
In other "Welcome to the Riley's" news . . . Melissa Leo's performance is utterly spectacular portraying her role to the hilt without so much as ever letting us in on the fact she was acting - she played the role beyond what should have been expected with her subtle approach to what I'm sure any actor would agree was a script FILLED with nothing short of mere plethora of emotions she was called upon to portray. Whether playing passive aggressive, angry, anxious, fearful, willful, vigilant, forgiving, lustful, determined, empathetic, or as she does best, emphasizing there is no age limit to seeing the world, although again, for the first time - she pulls them all off without letting us in on how difficult a role she was given - and she was tremendous.
And last but not least, credit is certainly due young Kristen Stewart for whom without glitch played the role for which she was cast - and although it may seem a far easier thing for a young actress to play a role which any young model might be cast, I would personally place money that finding the right actress to for the role of "Mallory/Allison" was for the casting agents, producer, and director, by far the most difficult challenge in pulling off this movie without making it "all about her". In affect, together the cast managed to keep the audience just as interested in the "old people" as the young beauty - something which let's face it- with the kind of exploitation this movie could have allowed, nothing short of an A++ goes to not only Ms. Stewart for knowing her place in the movies, but as well for all involved as the end product is a rare and honest look into many delicate subjects, produced magnificently without the usual commercial gimmicks which ruin so many otherwise would-be great movies. Bravo, Bravo, Bravo!!! PS: To Ally Sheedy - They say no role is too small and you certainly prove this true as it is clear you've absolute dedication to your profession and thank you for your performance as we LOVE to see you on the screen be it five hours of playing Cleopatra or a moments glance as a Ticket Taker at a carnival - it doesn't matter to your fans as it's simply a pleasure to watch you act (which should you ever come across this review you might mention to your agent :)