Film: City Island
Cast includes: Andy Garcia (Ocean’s Eleven), Julianna Margulies (ER), Steven Strait (The Convent), Dominik Garcia-Lorido (The Lost City), Ezra Miller (Royal Pains), Emily Mortimer (Match Point), Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine)
Writer/director: Raymond De Felitta (Two Family House)
Genre: Comedy/drama (2009)
In brief: Before Vince Rizzo tells us his most personal secret, he tells us about his home on City Island. It’s in the Bronx, a former fishing village... just a spit of land, one square mile… “Most people can’t believe it until they see it.” Vince and his family live in the house Vince’s grandfather built. There’s his wife Joyce, son Vince Jr., and daughter Vivian, who’s home from college on spring break. Then there’s Vince’s other son, the one he met for the first time on the job. Vince is a corrections officer, AKA prison guard, at a Westchester prison. Tony Nardella has just arrived, convicted on auto theft… stealing an Impala. Vince has heard the name before, and when he checks Tony’s background, there’s no doubt that Tony’s his son. Tony can get out early if a relative would take responsibility for him, but Tony’s mom is dead, and he has no other relatives… that he knows of.
Vince manages to get Tony released to him without telling Tony of their relationship. So for the next 30 days Tony is going to serve his time at the Rizzo home on City Island. But first, Vince has to cook up a cover story for Tony’s sudden arrival. Joyce sees through it right away… it’s not easy keeping secrets at the Rizzo home. Yet everyone tries. Vivian isn’t at college anymore; she’s a stripper at Hell’s Half Acre. Teenage Vince Jr. has a secret fetish for BBWs, big beautiful women… like the 300-pound woman across the street. When Vince is supposed to be out playing poker, he’s actually at acting class. And while Joyce is supposed to believe Vince is playing poker, she knows he actually having an affair.
The Rizzo home is literally simmering with secrets, ready to boil over. It’s a story with many strands woven together beautifully. If you’ve seen and loved Two Family House, you’ll recognize writer/director, Raymond De Felitta’s signature elements… a well-crafted, complex plot with endearing characters trying to follow their dreams. The simmering stew of intrigue at the Rizzo home needs one last ingredient to bring things to a boil, and that comes from an outsider, Molly, a fellow acting student. City Island is famous for all the things that haven’t changed over the decades… looks like the Rizzo family is about to break with tradition.
3 popped kernels
Popped kernels for fun story and a great script. Excellent acting, and I loved the NYC and City Island footage.