Welcome to the rileys was a slow paced movie....no action or anything like that but it was a great story and the actors played the parts great. twilight fans will find kristen stewart is no bella in this movie, and might even be shocked by her lack of cloths and drity language that might even make you laugh.
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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
The Loss of a Child: Aftermath, Consequences, and CopingFeb. 8 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
WELCOME TO THE RILEYS is a little sign on the garage doors of Doug and Lois Riley in Indianapolis, Indiana. It also serves as the title of this fine little film written by Ken Hixon and directed by Jake Scott that examines how the loss of a 15-year-old daughter Emily in an automobile accident has resulted in the crumbling of the parent's marriage and relationship. Doug (James Gandolfini) has an affair with younger waitress Vivian (Eisa Davis) while Lois (Melissa Leo) becomes so isolated in her agoraphobic state and psychotropic mediations that she is no longer available to Doug. A crisis occurs when Vivian dies in cardiac arrest and in Doug's honest grief he visits her grave only to find that Lois has unilaterally purchased a headstone with Doug's and Lois' names on it beside the grave of their departed Emily, a fact that enrages Doug.
Doug goes to New Orleans on a convention and there encounters stripper/prostitute Mallory (Kristen Stewart), a 16 year old unkempt, foul mouthed runaway from Florida: Mallory sees the kind Doug as a john but Doug's interest is in her plight, not her business offerings. Doug obviously responds to Mallory as though she were his lost daughter, moving into her filthy apartment, trying to improve her view of life. Doug phones Lois that he is going to stay in New Orleans a while, a message that gives Lois the courage to actually leave her home and drive to New Orleans: during Lois' somewhat comedic trip she stops for food and a strange man comes on to her - something that awakens her self esteem before she reaches New Orleans. Once Lois arrives at her destination she is proud of overcoming her agoraphobia and Doug is happy to see the healing Lois. Together they stay with Mallory, facing the fact that for both of them Mallory represents the chance to restore their love for the daughter they've lost. How the three cope is the remaining of the film.
The three leads offer polished performances - some of the finest work we have seen from both Gandolfini and Leo who together make this film better than the sum of its parts. Kristen Stewart immerses herself in Mallory and though she still remains a rather monochromatic actress, this role offers her the ability to stretch her acting chops: she is convincing as the victim of the dregs of society and makes us care about a character who seems to have few redeeming qualities. This trio of actors plays well as a small ensemble and the result is a film that has been far too overlooked by the general public. Recommended. Grady Harp, February 11
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
A hidden treasure--a must see!Feb. 28 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
My daughter who is totally a fan of Kristen Stewart had heard about this movie, but had never seen the movie. As a 47-year-old woman I appreciated Kristen Stewart's acting ability, but wasn't much interested in seeing another "teen movie" (this film is for adults). I decided to watch "Welcome to the Riley's" for some mother-daughter time with my own daughter. I am so glad she knew about this movie. James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo as Mr. and Mrs. Riley are masters at the craft of acting. They never missed a beat despite the tough topic covered. They were incredibly believable. I forgot I was watching a movie. Their relationship, its breakdown is raw and ordinary and then incredibly inspiring. Kristen Stewart carried the character of Mallory as a teenage runaway, stripper and prostitute without insulting reality- in fact the whole movie was that way. This easily could have been a cheesy, do-gooder movie but this is one that took ordinary and responsible and amazing- and made it greater than the sum of its parts. I rarely rate a movie 5 out of 5; this movie is such. As a side point, I hope this movie reminds people in the US that it's not just children across the globe that are suffering, we have a lot of work to do here.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
not perfect, but solid performances and that New Orleans backdrop make for a rather good movieMarch 3 2011
Matthew G. Sherwin
- Published on Amazon.com
Welcome to The Rileys drew me in more and more as the movie progressed; at first I thought it was a bit too slow but when the pace picked up with the backdrop of New Orleans I was rather impressed by what it had to say. The casting couldn't have been better; Melissa Leo gives an outstanding performance as a guilty housewife punishing herself for a long-ago car accident that took her daughter's life; and James Gandolfini turns in a masterful performance as her husband Doug who just can't seem to get past his grief and personal demons. The choreography and the cinematography enhance the movie and the musical score does a great job of making the film even better, too.
Lois Riley (Melissa Leo) and her husband Doug (James Gandolfini) are still most unhappy even though it's been eight years since the death of their daughter in a car accident. Lois hasn't left the house since the car accident; indeed, Lois has been so depressed that she already has headstones for her and Doug next to their late daughter's grave, a fact that gives Doug the creeps. Doug also has a long standing affair with a waitress named Vivian (Eisa Davis). However, when Vivian suddenly dies of a heart attack Doug is very upset and sadder still; and he suffers in silence because he doesn't know that Lois knew about him and Vivian for quite some while already.
Doug goes to a business convention in New Orleans; and being still upset about Vivian's death (he had wanted to take her there for her birthday) and also feeling out of place in a city very different from where he lives with his wife, Doug leaves the convention early one day and wanders into a strip joint where he meets an underage call girl who goes by several different names including Mallory (Kristen Stewart of "Twilight" fame). Doug and Mallory begin a most unconventional relationship; she reminds Doug of his daughter. So, what does Doug do? He phones Lois to tell her he's staying in New Orleans indefinitely without giving Lois any reason; he moves in with Mallory paying her $100 a day to stay with her in her very rundown apartment in a home that was abandoned after Hurricane Katrina and Doug tries desperately to get Mallory to grow up with a combination of love and confrontation that Mallory needs.
Meanwhile, Lois decides to finally leave their home after nearly eight years of staying indoors--she's determined to drive to New Orleans and find Doug there by calling him on his cell phone. Of course, the rest of what transpires gives us a very solid story line and some fine entertainment.
I could tell you more; but there won't be any spoilers here even though it may seem like I've told you much too much already! Suffice it to say the rest of the plot should hold your attention very well. In addition, look for very good performances by Tiffany Coty as Tara and Lance E. Nichols in an all-too-brief appearance as Hamilton 'Ham' Watkins, another businessman at the convention.
The DVD also comes with an extra about the making of the film.
I recommend this film for anyone interested in gritty family drama or drama in general; and of course fans of the actors in this movie would do well to add this to their collections.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A very, very good movie - Don't miss.Feb. 5 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
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 :)
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Welcome to the Riley's- a movie that captures some human elementJune 2 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
Great acting by Gandolfini, Leo, and Stewart. Meet the Riley's is the story of a husband and wife who loose and child and are still grappling with that loss years later. While they still live under the same roof, one is having and affair that ends with the significant other dying, and the other won't leave the house out of a fear that developed after the loss of their child. Their marriage has stayed intact, but the relationship has fallen apart. When Gandolfini's character leaves for a work convention in New Orleans he meets a young runaway turned stripper and sees a chance to help her. Only then does his wife find the courage to come to New Orleans herself. Together the two try to help this child that they are trying to save since their daughter could not be saved. Secrets are revealed, and things unfold. I don't want to ruin it. At this point I haven't really said much more than a preview would reveal but wanted to atleast recap the basics. Great acting all around by all, and it's a touching story of the way we sometimes find ways to heal. It's heartwarming, and interesting, and the shooting of the film allows you to get a real life taste of a post-Katrina New Orleans as well. In the end the characters all grow, and each gains something else from the other. The film is rated R but is not overly grotesque. The language is, but there isn't a ton of nudity. It's a good movie, and if you like the human element in movies, then you will like this. It has an indie feel to it, with the emotions unfolding in a raw way that lets the viewer take in the emotions similiar to the way Blue Valentine is shot.