City Island (film)
|Directed by||Raymond De Felitta|
|Produced by||Raymond De Felitta|
|Written by||Raymond De Felitta|
|Music by||Jan A.P. Kaczmarek|
|Edited by||David Leonard|
|Distributed by||Anchor Bay Films|
City Island is a 2009 American comedy-drama film directed and written by Raymond De Felitta and starring Andy Garcia, Julianna Margulies, Alan Arkin, Emily Mortimer and Ezra Miller. It premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City on April 26, 2009. The title refers to the Bronx's City Island, where the film is set.
Living on City Island, in the Bronx, Vince Rizzo (Andy Garcia), a prison guard, is the father of a dysfunctional family whose members all have secrets. Vince discovers that his secret illegitimate son is now the 24-year-old prison inmate Tony Nardella (Steven Strait) who is being held in the same prison where he works. Without revealing this truth to his family, Vince consequently gets Tony out of prison and employs him as hired help at his own home in order to become closer with his unknowing son. Vince has also been secretly taking acting lessons, taught by Michael Malakov (Alan Arkin), and begins to form a platonic bond with Molly (Emily Mortimer), an aspiring actress.
Meanwhile, Vince's 20-year-old daughter, Vivian (Dominik Garcia-Lorido, the real-life daughter of Andy García, her on-screen father), has not told her family that she has been suspended from college, lost her scholarship, gotten breast implants, and become a stripper to try to pay for her next semester; their youngest teenage child, Vinnie (Ezra Miller), has a secret sexual fetish for feeding women (feederism), and fantasizes about their fat next-door neighbor; and Vince's wife, Joyce (Julianna Margulies), thinking she has lost all marital intimacy, sexually pursues Tony without realizing that he is her stepson.
Vince successfully auditions for a part in a Martin Scorsese film, while his wife and Tony seek each other's sexual attention. Vince, Jr. befriends his fat neighbor, who helps to bring him closer to an overweight girl whom he has been attracted to at school.
Tensions rise as the family's many dysfunctions come to a head. Tony, finally deciding to escape the insanity of the Rizzo household, steals their car to find Vivian working at the strip club. Just before the group is nearly torn apart in a violent outburst, Vince reveals the truth about everything, with Tony discovering in amazement that the dysfunctional family he sought to escape is actually his own. Vivian and the others admit their faults and Vince acknowledges the family's problems with the desire to work them out. The finally relieved group reunites in forgiveness toward one another, welcoming the overwhelmed Tony as a new member of their bizarre but loving family.
- Andy García as Vince Rizzo
- Julianna Margulies as Joyce Rizzo
- Steven Strait as Tony Nardella
- Emily Mortimer as Molly Charlesworth
- Ezra Miller as Vincent "Vinnie" Rizzo, Jr.
- Dominik García-Lorido as Vivian Rizzo
- Alan Arkin as Michael Malakov
- Carrie Baker Reynolds as Denise
- Hope Glendon-Ross as Cheryl
City Island received generally positive reviews. It holds an 81% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 101 reviews, and an average rating of 6.8/10. The website's critical consensus states, "Raymond De Felitta combines warmth, humanity, and a natural sense of humor, and is abetted by Andy Garcia and an excellent ensemble cast." On Metacritic, which uses a weighted average score based on reviews from critics, the film has a score of 66 out of 100, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
As for box office, the film was a minor success, grossing $6,671,036 domestically and $7,875,862 worldwide based on a $6 million budget.
- Received the First Place Audience Award at the Tribeca Film Festival.