Vince Rizzo (Andy Garcia) is a lifelong resident of the tiny, tradition-steeped Bronx enclave of City Island. A family man who makes his living as a corrections officer, Vince longs to become an actor. Ashamed to admit his aspirations to his family, Vince would rather let his fiery wife Joyce (Julianna Margulies) believe his weekly poker games are a cover for an extramarital affair than admit he’s secretly taking acting classes in Manhattan. When Vince is asked to reveal his biggest secret in class, he inadvertently sets off a chaotic chain of events that turns his mundane suburban life upside down. Winner of the Audience Award at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival, City Island spins a web of misrepresentations, misinterpretations and misunderstandings into a smart and charming comedy about a family that stops at nothing to avoid the truth.
is chock-full of the simple pleasures to be gleaned from a warm, generous, and skillful script, performed with humor and charisma by a talented cast. Vince Rizzo (Andy Garcia, Ocean's Eleven
) is a prison guard--or "corrections officer," as he prefers--and has a family full of secrets: his son has some atypical desires and his daughter has been kicked out of school, while his wife Joyce (Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
) is powerfully attracted to the hunky young ex-con on parole that Vince has brought to stay with them. But Vince has some potent secrets of his own, including taking acting classes. He tells Joyce he's playing poker, which leads her to believe he's having an affair--and when she meets his acting partner (Emily Mortimer, Lovely and Amazing
), she thinks her fears are confirmed. This plot could easily have been melodramatic or sentimental, but thanks to the relaxed and confident guiding hand of writer-director Raymond De Felitta and the grounded, unfussy performances of the actors, City Island
is engaging and thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. --Bret Fetzer