In the movie A Bronx Tale, Robert DeNiro’s character drives a bus to a place called City Island, a small fishing village in the Bronx (of all places). For some reason that scene always stuck with me – the image of a peaceful island, surrounded by an overcrowded city. So I rented this movie called City Island, not knowing anything about it, only because I liked the concept. And really, I think that’s the best way to go into the movie; not knowing too much. So I won't talk too much summary.
City Island is about a family living on, you guessed it, City Island. Andy Garcia, who is just so awesome in this, plays Vince, a father with a secret. Julianna Margulies, plays the mother who also has a secret. The son and daughter also keep secrets from the rest of the family. The son’s secret is just so crazy, I can’t imagine how the writer, Raymond De Felitta, came up with it. They all live under one roof, yet they all live their own private lives, on their own private islands. Neat connection huh? Vince works as a correctional officer at a prison, and when he brings a convict home with him, the secrets start to come out.
Andy Garcia is great. Most of the time I think he’s okay. I think his performances are pretty standard; a debonair Italian dude. In City Island, he plays an older, unsure of himself, kind of guy, who longs to be a debonair Italian dude. He even references Pacino, DeNiro and his idol, Marlon Brando. Garcia plays Vince in a humbling yet charming and likeable way. There’s one scene where Vince stares at his own daughter’s chest. It’s a pretty awkward scene, but what makes it even funnier, is that the actress playing his daughter, is actually Garcia’s daughter, Dominik.
Emily Mortimer plays Vince’s friend Molly. She doesn’t have a very large part, but she invokes the beauty and quirkiness of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. She’s graceful and silly and supports Vince during his transition into the man he wants to be. I couldn’t help but like her as well.
City Island is a funny movie, but it’s mostly that interesting kind of funny where you say, “Oh that’s funny,” instead of actually laughing. Some of the scenes definitely had me LOL-ing though. It’s a great story, set in a unique locale. The characters are interesting and have some pretty wild secrets. I could definitely see this working on an off-Broadway stage. The ending alone is reminiscent of a Shakespeare.
3.5 Italian dudes