Fellow Movie Lovers
I like Andy Garcia, I have always liked him; whether a good or bad guy; whether a good or bad movie I am always on his side. It is not just his staggering physiognomy or the timber of his voice but the depth of his characterizations; he climbs into the minds of his protagonists, inhabits their foibles and charms, and sheds, like a chrysalis his own predilections and becomes, as in this case Vince Rizzo.
We recognize Vince Rizzo, a man who loves his family and the historical City Island where the inhabitants are divided between the Clam Diggers, who are born and raised there and the Mussel Suckers, the interlopers from the outside. Vince works hard and secretly harbors a dream, a fantasy to be something other than the man reality and circumstances has molded. Jung said “the brighter the light, the darker the shadow”, Vince is the reverse, his shadow is illuminating and ebullient.
This is a movie about secrets. Vince’s wife Joyce (played convincingly by Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife”) is a frustrated, shrewish, bored receptionist, projecting her lost ambitions on her daughter Vivian (Dominik Garcia-Lorido, the real life daughter of Andy Garcia), using subterfuge to rectify her self made secret. Vince, Jr. hilariously acted by Ezra Miller, has a fetish, so mouth watering gluttonous viewers had to be restrained from poll vaulting to the concession stand.
But secrets need catalysts to unveil and reveal themselves. The two catalysts, in male and female form are brilliantly played by Steven Strait as Tony, a convicted felon that Vince, a prison guard brings home to City Island to build a bathroom in an unused shed on his property; and Emily Mortimer (“Shutter Island”, “Lars and the Real Girl”) as the muse who ignites and instigates Vince’s eventual metamorphosis. Casting at its pinnacle!
This film, teetering on the precipice of greatness is so commandingly real, well-written, exhilaratingly acted that the viewer is unaware of the genius behind its production. But the laughter, joy and warmth it cloaks and leaves with the audience will sustain us through many a chilling film disappointments.