Welcome to the Rileys

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Welcome to the Rileys
Welcome to the Rileys.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jake Scott
Produced by Ridley Scott
Tony Scott
Scott Bloom
Giovanni Agnelli
Michael Costigan
Written by Ken Hixon
Starring James Gandolfini
Kristen Stewart
Melissa Leo
Music by Marc Streitenfeld
Distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Films
Release dates
  • January 23, 2010 (2010-01-23) (Sundance)[1]
  • October 29, 2010 (2010-10-29) (United States)[1]
Running time 110 minutes
Country United Kingdom
United States
Language English
Budget $10 million
Box office $317,382

Welcome to the Rileys is a 2010 British-American independent drama film directed by Jake Scott, written by Ken Hixon, as well as starring Kristen Stewart, James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo. The film debuted at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.[2]

Plot[edit]

Ever since the death of their daughter Emily, Doug (James Gandolfini) and Lois Riley (Melissa Leo) have been drifting apart. As Lois wrestles with a suffocating sense of guilt over her daughter's death, Doug copes by entering into an affair with Vivian, a local waitress. Lately, Lois hasn't even been able to muster the courage to venture outside, summoning hairdressers to her home in order to maintain appearances and communicating with few people other than her sister Harriet and the local pastor. When Vivian dies and Doug finds himself in a New Orleans strip club during a business trip, he realizes he's come to a dangerous crossroads in life.

Turning down an offer for a private dance by 16-year-old stripper Mallory (Kristen Stewart), Doug instead accompanies the girl home and makes a most unusual proposition: If Mallory will allow him to stay in her run-down house long enough to straighten himself out, he will pay her $100 a day for her trouble. For Mallory, who isn't used to getting money for nothing, it seems like a great deal. She accepts and Doug phones Lois to tell her he won't be coming home. As time passes, Doug and Mallory settle into an unconventional kind of domesticity.

Meanwhile, back home, Lois realizes that she'll have to act fast in order to save her marriage, even if that means venturing well outside her comfort zone for the first time in nearly a decade. Most days she can't even make it to the mailbox, but after a couple of attempts, Lois manages to start up her car and get on the freeway heading south. When Lois arrives in Louisiana and discovers that her husband is living with a foul-mouthed, underage stripper, she is at first horrified. Like Doug before her, however, Lois quickly warms to Mallory due in part to her striking similarities to Emily. Before long, Lois, too has moved in and the three form an unconventional family. But when Lois attempts to steer Mallory from the path of self-destruction, the young girl bristles. Mallory is arrested after an altercation with a client and Doug and Lois rush to be by her side, but shortly after they bail her out, she runs away. Doug and Lois realize they cannot use Mallory as a substitute for their daughter and return to Indianapolis. Shortly after returning and settling back at home, Doug receives a phone call from Mallory in Houston. She announces her plans about moving to Las Vegas, just before boarding the bus. Doug clarifies to her that she will always be supported by his family, if any needs should come. Doug and Lois finally begin to re-engage with the world.

Cast[edit]

  • James Gandolfini as Doug Riley, a lonely man who decides to help Mallory.
  • Kristen Stewart as Allison/Mallory, a troubled teenage girl and stripper.[3]
  • Melissa Leo as Lois Riley, Doug's wife.
  • Eisa Davis as Vivian
  • David Jensen as Ed
  • Kathy Lamkin as Charlene
  • Joe Chrest as Jerry
  • Ally Sheedy as Harriet, Lois's sister.

Production[edit]

Filming took place in New Orleans in late fall of 2008.[3]

Reception[edit]

The film screened at the 2010 Sundance film festival and generally received mixed reviews with a 54% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[4]

While some critics criticized the direction, script, as well as performances, film critic Roger Ebert stated, "One of the buzz champs of Sundance 2010. Gandolfini demonstrates that although he may not be conventionally handsome, when he smiles his face bathes you in the urge to like him. Kristen Stewart here is tougher even than her punk rocker in The Runaways."[5] Roger Friedman of The Hollywood Reporter said, “We got to see James Gandolfini continue his whacking of Tony Soprano in a fine new drama called Welcome to the Rileys. Gandolfini and Melissa Leo turn in superb performances as a couple who’ve lost their 15-year-old daughter. Kristen Stewart, she of Twilight fame, is also very good as a teen prostitute whom the couple befriends. The film is directed by Jake Scott, son of Ridley, nephew of Tony, and he shows that he’s inherited the family gene."[6] Anthony Breznican of USA Today also noted that “Kristen Stewart's shocking depiction of a self-destructive 16-year-old stripper/prostitute in Welcome to the Rileys is bound to scandalize. Those who prefer her only as Twilight's lovestruck Bella may be shocked, while others who know her more nuanced work in films such as Adventureland will see a fearless new side of the actress confirmed."[7] However, David Edwards from the Daily Mirror says, "It's downbeat and has little to say about the grieving process, and while Gandolfini and Leo are memorable, Stewart is not."

Director Jake Scott received a Grand Jury Prize nomination for Most Dramatic Film at the Sundance Film Festival, after Welcome to the Rileys screened there. Melissa Leo won best actress at Boston Film critics, James Gandolfini was nominated as best actor while Kristen Stewart won best actress at Milan International Film Festival.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Welcome to the Rileys - Movie Info - Yahoo! Movies
  2. ^ Sperling, Nicole. Kristen Stewart's Joan Jett movie among Sundance Premieres, Entertainment Weekly, December 3, 2009. Accessed April 24, 2010.
  3. ^ a b Siegel, Tatiana. 'Rileys' welcomes Melissa Leo, Variety, October 1, 2008. Accessed April 24, 2010.
  4. ^ "Welcome to the Rileys Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  5. ^ Ebert, Roger. Of the feel of theaters and audiences, and eight films from Sundance, Chicago Sun-Times, January 30, 2010. Accessed April 24, 2010.
  6. ^ Friedman, Roger. James Gandolfini Rubs Out Tony Soprano Again, The Hollywood Reporter, January 24, 2010. Accessed April 24, 2010.
  7. ^ Breznican, Anthony. Twilight star Kristen Stewart exposed in Welcome to the Rileys, USA Today, January 23, 2010. Accessed April 24, 2010.
  8. ^ Awards for Welcome to the Rileys (2010)

External links[edit]