19 year old Brooklyn boy Mike tries to balance a scholarship to NYU and his sophisticated Italian neighborhood roots, as well as a eager-to-marry girlfriend, a proud father and a less lawful transport job. After a Tim McLoughlin's novel.
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Rebecca De Mornay
A 19 year old Brooklyn boy who is torn between two worlds when his photography portfolio wins him a partial scholarship to NYU. He must figure out how to balance his Italian neighborhood roots with the expansive, sophisticated world on the other side of the East River. This compelling coming-of-age story combines suspense, murder and loyalty. Based on Tim McLoughlin's novel "Heart of the Old Country." Written by
Mike Manadoro (Kevin Zegers) lives with his father Vinny (Vincent D'Onofrio) in Brooklyn. His friend Nicky Shades (Eddie Cahill) returns from war with a dark edge. Mike's photography gets him a partial scholarship to NYU. He falls for fellow student Kathy Popovich (Sophia Bush) despite having neighborhood girlfriend Gina Abruzzi (Monica Keena). He starts doing odd jobs driving for local mob guy Tony (Titus Welliver). His father is angry with him working for Tony.
This is reminiscent of well-used material from better movies. It's an indie in need of better cinematic style and better music. It's more in the line of a good-looking TV movie. Zegers is a perfectly functional young leading man. He has just enough charisma and Bush is a hottie. However the story meanders without much tension. It takes a long time for the movie to raise the danger level. The dialog is a bit lackluster except when D'Onofrio shows up. It tries to go to a darker place but it never shocks. The whole movie needs to be tightened up a bit and concentrate on the father son relationship. More D'Onofrio would really help.
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