City Island [Blu-ray]
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City Island is chock-full of the simple pleasures to be gleaned from a warm, generous, and skillful script, performed with humor and charisma by a talented cast. Vince Rizzo (Andy Garcia, Ocean's Eleven) is a prison guard--or "corrections officer," as he prefers--and has a family full of secrets: his son has some atypical desires and his daughter has been kicked out of school, while his wife Joyce (Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife) is powerfully attracted to the hunky young ex-con on parole that Vince has brought to stay with them. But Vince has some potent secrets of his own, including taking acting classes. He tells Joyce he's playing poker, which leads her to believe he's having an affair--and when she meets his acting partner (Emily Mortimer, Lovely and Amazing), she thinks her fears are confirmed. This plot could easily have been melodramatic or sentimental, but thanks to the relaxed and confident guiding hand of writer-director Raymond De Felitta and the grounded, unfussy performances of the actors, City Island is engaging and thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. --Bret Fetzer
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Top Customer Reviews
I could not picture my "find" being a comic, but this movie opened my eyes to Garcia's versatility. He is hilarious as Vince Rizzo in City Island where he plays a prison guard (he prefers the title "correction officer"). He appears to have a normal family life with a beautiful wife Joyce (Julianna Margulies), a mouthy son Vince Jr. (Ezra Miller) and a collegiate daughter Vivian (Dominik Garcia-Lorido). But all is not as it seems...
Vince has a big secret that he can't share with his family: he's taking acting classes and is a bit ashamed to admit it because he never shared those aspirations with his family. The fun begins with the hi-jinx he pulls to guard his secret ambition. To further complicate matters his acting partner (Emily Mortimer) urges him on... And, guess what?: She has secrets of her own.
And then Vince discovers that one of his inmates (Steven Strait) is his illegitimate son...which is another secret. He arranges to have the young man released in his custody and brings him to live with his family. Which makes matters worse because his son doesn't know Vince is his father and the family is completely in the dark about why this "con" is suddenly thrust upon them.
And what secrets do members of his family have? Where is his daughter when she's supposed to be in college? What kinky secrets does his young son have? And why does his faithful wife suddenly get a hankering for his illegitimate son when she's always been faithful?Read more ›
Vince Rizzo (Andy Garcia) is correctional officer. He secretly takes acting lessons.
Vivian Rizzo (Dominik García-Lorido) is the daughter. They believe she attends school when actually she works as an exotic dancer at "Hell's Half Acre."
Vince Rizzo jr. (Ezra Miller) The adolescent son who loves BBWs (fat chicks).
Joyce Rizzo (Julianna Margulies) is the wife who is very difficult to get along with. She believes her husband is having an affair. She has the hots for ...
Tony (Steven Strait) who is a convicted coke dealer. He is also the son of Vince from a previous relationship. Only Vince knows this secret. Tony is released from prison in the care of Vince. He is bright and built. He quickly learns everyone's secrets and is perhaps the most normal person in the group.
At this point the film felt like a light version of "Down and Out in Beverly Hills." 4 1/2 stars
PARENTAL GUIDE: No f-bombs, sex, or nudity. Some minor sex talk. A light PG-13.
City Island is the story of the Rizzo family. Patriarch Vince Rizzo is a corrections officer with big dreams of being an actor, which he hides from his wife in the disguise of a gambling addiction. The main goal of City Island is just to give us a look at a family during a turning point in all of their intertwined relationships, and it works beautifully.
Andy Garcia, who has been out of the spotlight for some time, but remains one of Hollywood's unsung greats, is fantastic as Vince Rizzo. The fact that he would rather his wife think he is a gambler than an aspiring actor pretty much sums up the dysfunction in the Rizzo family. Julianne Margulies is Vince's wife Joyce, who is pretty much fed up with their life and fed up with Vince. With Emily Mortimer and Alan Arkin rounding out the acting talent, you really can't go wrong with City Island. The pacing is tight, the family dynamic is familiar and relatable in a far too realistic manner, and the humor keeps coming, in a fresh and genuine way. City Island is the hidden gem at this late point in our summer, and I highly recommend going out and picking it up or at least renting it. If you want to spend a while with a family that will make you feel better about your own, give City Island a shot. And welcome back Andy Garcia while you're at it.
Most recent customer reviews
Funny and witty. Recommendable although the script seems at times inspired from previous successful movies, like Little Miss Sunshine.Published 11 months ago by Torapatapomme
I am a movie collector and I am pleased to add this movie to my collection, I am very selective in what I buy and enjoyed it.Published on May 29 2013 by Sharon Johnson