June 14, 2010
Posted by on
Every year, the independent film community has a few comedy gems that come out of nowhere and surprise people. This year, City Island is in that group. With a cast from all types of backgrounds, the comedy states its intentions early on. And it succeeds exactly where it wants to.
The film follows a family, each with their own secrets. Vincent (Andy Garcia) is a Corrections Officer who secretly wants to be an actor. His wife (Julianna Marguiles), son (Ezra Miller), and daugther (played by Garcia’s actual daughter Dominik Garcia-Lorido) make up the rest of his convincing family. Their family dinner at the beginning of the film shows everyone is very New York (Bronx specifically) and a pleasant dinner quickly dissolves into a shouting match. Things only get more complicated when Vince brings home Tony (Steven Strait), his illegitimate child just released on a provisional parole. Through Tony is how we see this family, warts and all.
I had cautious but high expectations for this film. Thankfully, the film met them. Steven Strait was extremely impressive. The script allowed the actors room to flesh things out. The on-location filming elevated the setting to a more palpable atmosphere. Definitely a fun movie to watch. 4 out of 5 stars.