CITY ISLAND Movie Review
CITY ISLAND centers on prison guard and aspiring actor, Vince Rizzo (Andy Garcia) and his family living in (where else?) City Island, a fishing community on the outskirts of the Bronx. When Vince realizes that his long lost son (Steven Strait) is one of the prisoner he is in charge of, he finds a way to get him released to his care. But as you can imagine bringing an ex-con to his house doesn’t really please his hot-tempered wife, Joyce (Julianna Margulies). And to make matters worse, when Vince is asked to reveal his biggest secret to his acting partner (Emily Mortimer) in the drama class he is taking in secret, it just sets off a chain of hilarious events that no one, not even Vince, could have seen coming.
To be perfectly honest I probably wouldn’t have gone to see City Island if I hadn’t been invited to a screening. Not that the trailer looked bad, but it looked like a movie that I would have rented or maybe watched on TV, because it just seem like it wouldn’t be anything special. But oh boy was I wrong! Not only was it a great, funny movie, it had some part that were so hilarious that I had tears in my eyes.
The story is all about people keeping secrets to each other and what absurd situation it leads people to. It is done so well and so originally, the story is able to give life to this family and make you feel like you are peeking into their lives. Every character brings something that is different and that complements each other perfectly. Even the city of City Island is its own character, which I now want to visit by the way because it looks like such a beautiful place.
And of course what enhances the brilliantly written characters are the amazing performances by the cast. Andy Garcia is just wonderful and funny as Vince Rizzo, a man who dreams of being an actor, but doesn’t have the courage to tell his wife. I think this is one of my favorite performances of his. Julianna Margulies is amazing as Vince’s wife, Joyce. She is most definitely the “man” in the relationship which creates such a great dynamic between the two. It’s so much fun seeing them interact with each other. Dominik García-Lorido plays their daughter, Vivian, and although she doesn’t have as much screen time as the rest, her character does set up some pretty funny moments with the family. Oh and fun fact, she is in fact Andy Garcia’s daughter. Steven Strait plays Vince’s long lost son, Tony. I think the great thing about this character is that he is the audience’s eyes because he sees the craziness of the family the way we do without realizing he is slowly becoming part of it. Emily Mortimer plays Vince’s adorable acting partner, Molly, who we soon realize is keeping her own secret. Finally, my very favorite character has to be Vince and Joyce’s youngest son, Vince Jr., played by Ezra Miller. He is the funniest and quirkiest character, and I loved every moment he was on screen. He sort of has his own story separate from the family, which involves his obsession with his overweight neighbor and a sort of feeding fetish. No kidding, it’s something you just have to see.
Overall, I went in not expecting anything and came out not only loving City Island but wanting to see it again and bring my friends to see it. So needless to say I highly recommend you go see City Island when it comes out to theaters on Friday, March 19, 2010 (limited).
The movie will also open in more markets on March 26th.