Prison guard Vince tells Molly from acting class, that one inmate is his 24 y.o. love child. Vince takes him home to stay with his family - straight A son with fat girl fetish, college dropout/stripper daughter and cute wife.
The Rizzos, a family who doesn't share their habits, aspirations, and careers with one another, find their delicate web of lies disturbed by the arrival of a young ex-con (Strait) brought home by Vince (Garcia), the patriarch of the family, who is a corrections officer in real life, and a hopeful actor in private.Written by
In the scene where Vinnie and Molly are confronted by Joyce, Joyce changes stair levels throughout the scene. See more »
Did you sleep outside last night?
No, no, no. I did heroin with a bunch of prostitutes at the Plaza Hotel. I'm thinking of becoming a pimp.
Good. I'll see you later.
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Plotted somewhat like a farce but as emotionally resonate as the best comedy-dramas, City Island is most aptly described, simply and literally, as wonderful. The cast is unfailingly strong with producer Andy Garcia giving himself the meatiest role – to great effect. A few too many "dems" and "dose" may lace his New York accent but he is funny, sincere, frustrated and perseverant in a wide panoply of scenes with actors who have either been TV-type cast (Juliana Margulies), indie-film type cast (Emily Mortimer) or not yet had a real chance to really strut their stuff (Steven Straight, Dominik Garcia-Lorido, and a promising Ezra Miller). Alan Arkin pops in with his usual world-weary Weltanshauung but it plays wonderfully here.
Still, you can see good acting in a number of films (though not an ensemble as strong as this). What separates City Island from the comedy-drama mainland is a story that is both fantastical and yet credible. The premise of what befalls this particular prison guard is a little over-the-top, as are the nonstop (funny) family feuds, but it all feels real. The story detours into little tide pools of drama for each character and here, too, every subplot provides laughs – and it all comes together in a tsunami of comedy at the end, true to its farcical roots. But there's a surprisingly strong current of emotion too in a finale that argues secrets are probably best revealed when you feel least safe in doing so.
The best film I've seen to date this year.
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