Saturday, 11 June 2011

City Island

This is one of those indie flicks where some slightly messed-up stuff goes on but to you the viewer: a) it is funny b) not that offensive and c) the behaviour is easily forgivable. Cinematically, I feel it’s a kind of European sensibility. Think Gerard Depardieu and his buddy throwing that girl into the river in Les Valseuses, unashamedly played for laughs (and boy, was it funny.) 

Vince Rizzo (Andy Garcia) is a prison officer with secrets, one of which is that he’s been taking acting lessons. He’s not the only one hiding something - his son has an unsavoury penchant for obese women and his daughter is a stripper. All the secrets are revealed with darkly comic results. The titular City Island is a quirky area in The Bronx and a sort of well kept secret. It’s a pretty community noted for its boating and seafood restaurants but still very much a part of New York City.

The film is totally watchable if a little forgettable. Writer and director Raymond de Felitta shows promise, capturing real pathos (with the blue collar Vince trying to tap his potential) and there are many comic moments. Garcia is funny, as is Julianna Margulies (she of ER fame) who we don’t often see in feature films. Now, why is that? Oh yeah, it’s because she’s just turned 45. C’mon Hollywood, can we please start giving some better roles to women who are old enough to remember at least the eighties? It’s criminal to ignore such talent and the likes of Margulies are a damn sight more interesting and sexy than a lot of younger women currently seen on our screens. 


  1. Luckily Marguiles has the Scott brothers watching her back with 'The Good Wife' which has at least three permanent excellent middle aged female characters and plenty of space for Martha Plimpton of The Goonies and Michael J Fox as the best disabled lawyer in fiction history (sorry Ironside).

    I've also had a man-crush on Andy Garcia since I was a young buck watching 'The Untouchables'. I could never understand why nobody else thought he was the coolest thing to ever live, hopefully our Alien overlords will see what I see and spare me.

  2. The Scott Walker Brothers? But hey, am glad La Margulies has found gainful employment.