Sunday, July 24, 2011

City Island (2009)

Stars : Andy GarciaJulianna Margulies,
 Steven Strait, Emily Mortimer ,
 Dominik GarcĂ­a-Lorido
Directed By: Raymond De Felitta
Written By: Raymond De Felitta

A light hearted  movie is a term that most often people use with comedies, and I am not sure City Island should go in this genre. Its a subtle complex family drama that amuses and brings innocence of families trying to make it right. Its best like a week in the life of disjointed loving family, that is raveled and excited about the presence of a new person in the family.

Vince Rizzo ( Andy Garcia ) is correctional officer, born n brought up on the city island, a small island off New York. City Island where people born are inculcated a feel of contentment and belonging about the island. Vince lives with his wife Joyce ( Juliana Margulies), daughter Vivian ( Dominik Garcia) and a son. The dis- jointed , struggling family , where each member has a secret. Each of them tries to hide it from others, pretending all is fine. Enters a prisoner Tony who is the son of Vince, a son Vince walked out on before even he was born. Vince brings Tony home , and things become more complicated as the secret of each member finds a confidant in Tony. Equipped and frustrated on being the one with all the family secrets , finally he helps the family to confront the truth of their lives and let out their secrets to each other.

The story is simple and feels like a story taken out of dear diary pages. Its smart, its sensitive and its realistic. A family where the parents are going through their mid life crisis, a daughter struggling to find an identity and trying to stand on her own, a son who is practically trying to be a rebellion. The screenplay is a very fine example of how to combine small incidents to create a fine screen story. Its sharp, short and provides ample space for the audience to relate and fill in their stories with the movie. The characters are not all very well defined which provides the realistic feel and the vulnerability to them. Raymond has written and directed the movie which I think helped in making the movie so good. He actually knew how to treat each relation and each scene, he never goes overboard with drama or  extends a scene to evoke a smile. 

Andy Garcia as Vince Rizzo is good, he is supposed to wear several hats at the same time and he does pretty well at it. As a father and husband he is convincing and his innocence in scenes where he talks about being an actor and auditions with Molly, he is pretty good and real. The relationship between Vince and Molly(Emily Mortimer) is very neatly established and treated with innocence. The performance by Emily as Molly is a standout for me apart from Andy Garcia's performance. In a scene where Vince tells Molly about his audition, the emotions that flow on her face as she tries to conceal them is one of the best for me in the movie. The supporting artists have all contributed to making this movie a enjoyable one. Each one contributes a different set of emotions, which helps in making the movie more engaging.

Its a small family drama, that evokes smiles and provides a connection may be to a lot of people through small incidents and scenes. Its subtle comedy with fine blended emotions. A good watch.

Plus : Story, Screenplay and subtle performances.

Rating : 8.5 /10


Candice Frederick said...

i agree. this movies was simple and good. really liked it.

Stevee Taylor said...

I really liked this film too, it was one of my favourites from last year. I thought it was really funny and heart warming!