Review: City Island

Title: City Island
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Raymond De Felitta
Starring: Andy Garcia, Julianna Marguiles, Steven Strait
Runtime: 1 hour 46 minutesWhat It Is? Vince Rizzo (Garcia) is a prison guard, although he prefers the term “correctional officer”, but that isn’t enough for him. He’s following his life long dream of being an actor. Too bad he can’t tell his family back on City Island that. You see his hardheaded wife Joyce (Marguiles) would never believe such a thing, so he claims to have a poker game instead. In this class Vince meets Molly (Emily Mortimer) whom he is now partnered with in class. There first assignment is to find out, and act out each others biggest secrets. Neither one wants to tell the other their biggest secret however. Vince’s? He just found out one of the newest inmates at his prison MIGHT be his illegitimate son. However the rest of the Rizzo clan is not without secrets. In fact when Vince invites his possible son convict Tony (Strait) into his home as part of his parole we find out a lot about the Rizzo’s. I won’t give that away here, but let’s just say that’s where the bulk of the comedy is.

What We Think? This is a comedy I felt was severely underrated, in fact it wasn’t widely released. It’s a real shame too because it has a witty script, and some golden performances. Garcia whose also an executive producer on the film especially shines in his role. No wonder he wanted to make this film. Mortimer shines as the mysterious actress Molly. You even start to get a sense of trusting her, until her big secret is revealed that is. If you have the time to let it City Island will charm the pants off of you. I guarantee you the final 30 minutes of this film alone will be worth your time.

Our Score: A-, With its slow burning branches this is a comedy with depth, and humor. While it’ll try your patience the payoff makes it worthwhile. City Island is a film that won’t be enjoyed by just anyone, but that doesn’t take away from it in the slightest. Whether you a muscle sucker, or a clam digger Raymond De Felitta’s impressive debut is the place to be.