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City Island

4.6 out of 5 stars 279 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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.

City Island 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

Special Features

  • Audio Commentary with Writer/Producer/Director Raymond De Felitta and Producer/Actor Andy Garcia
  • Dinner with the Rizzos
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Andy Garcia, Julianna Margulies
  • Directors: Raymond De Felitta
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: Anchor Bay Films
  • DVD Release Date: August 24, 2010
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (279 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0036TGT8Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,801 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "City Island" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Miles D. Moore on May 3, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It sounds glib to call Raymond De Felitta's "City Island" this year's "Little Miss Sunshine," yet the comparison is apt. Both films depict dysfunctional families nearing collapse, and both are blessed with razor-sharp screenplays and ensemble casts that are wonderfully, hilariously perfect. Each member of the cast (especially top-billed Andy Garcia) gives an Oscar-worthy performance, and all will be robbed if they don't win the Screen Actors Guild Best Ensemble Cast Award next year.

The eponymous "City Island" is a small community just off the shoreline of the Bronx, officially part of that borough but with a small-town charm all its own. As Molly Charlesworth (Emily Mortimer), one of the film's characters, declares, "It's a cross between New England and Washington Heights!" Vince Rizzo (Andy Garcia) is a "clamdigger" (a lifelong resident of City Island), as opposed to a "mussel-sucker" (someone who moves to City Island, or one of those very rare natives who moves away). Vince works as a prison guard (though he prefers the term "corrections officer"), but that job doesn't seem to satisfy him these days. His wife Joyce (Julianna Margulies), daughter Vivian (Dominik Garcia-Lorido) and son Vince Jr. (Ezra Miller) wonder why Vince has a "poker game" almost every night, and also why he's brought paroled convict Tony Nardella (Steven Strait) home to live with them. The other Rizzos, meanwhile, are harboring secrets of their own...

To reveal any more of the plot would be sabotage. Let's just say the bickering of the Rizzo family reaches critical mass, with catharsis to follow. In any case, you fall in love with all the characters, and although you might be a little leery of some of the things they do, you'd still be happy to have them all over for your Sunday barbeque. "City Island" is a funny, charming, touching must-see.
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Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I think that it's become my mantra--"quirk is the curse of independent cinema." In an effort to be cutesy and/or clever, films have been systematically stripping away genuine warmth and humor by presenting character types and sitcom contrivances instead of mining what is really funny in our everyday foibles. It becomes a fine balancing act, then, because a good quirky film can be both hysterical and touch your heartstrings. However, one that goes over the top can be painfully unreal and hard to sit through. And, in my opinion, there is very little middle ground. So it is with some trepidation that I picked up "City Island," a family comedy that promised to explore the eccentricities (code word for quirk) and secrets in the working class Rizzo clan. And, in a pleasant surprise, here the quirk works!

Headlined by Andy Garcia and Julianna Margulies, "City Island" follows the boisterous Rizzo family as it navigates its way through enough secrets and deceptions to fuel several movies. Everyone is lying to everyone else! Garcia has a "secret" love child who is a convict, Margulies suspect him of cheating when he's "secretly" taking acting classes, their son has a "secret" fetish, their daughter has a "secret" job, and everyone "secretly" smokes--heck even Garcia's acting partner (Emily Mortimer) has a big "secret." That's a lot of secrets and leads to a lot of confrontation for one movie. But inexplicably, "City Island" and its immensely likable cast juggle these story lines like pros. The set-up is genuinely funny and the big revelations strike just the right note between hilarity and warmth.

Garcia is a hoot through-out, but credit must be given to the entire cast. Mortimer, in a role that might have been a disaster, provides genuine intelligence and pathos.
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Format: DVD
Reading - and the movies - offer the opportunity to explore new and unusual places, some of them not far from home. Thus, the movie "City Island" introduced me to a small fishing village of that name in, the Bronx, New York, of all places. City Island is a quaint close-knit fishing village of about 4000 people on the west end of Long Island Sound. This movie, which won the audience award at the Tribecca Film Festival in 2009, is set and was filmed in City Island. It is a town of old homes, beaches, bridges, fishing vessels, and the water. Residents of City Island distinguish between "Mussel Suckers" - the larger part of the community born outside the community and "Clam Diggers" those residents who grew up in City Island. This distinction is carried over into the movie.

The story itself might have happened anywhere, but it gains strength by the setting in a small urban area where people seemingly know their neighbors. The movie tells of the secrets that people hold from those closest to them and of the difficulties of opening up. The main character is the Rizzo family. Vincent Rizzo, played by Andy Garcia who also produced the movie is a middle-aged corrections office (he resents the term "prison guard") who harbors dreams of being an actor. He attends acting school one evening a week and, to avoid embarrassment, tells his disbelieving wife that he is out for a poker night. A woman student at the acting school with secrets of her own encourages Vince who begins as an imitator of Marlon Brando and learns to act in his own person and character. Against odds, newcomer Vince auditions for a tough-guy part in a movie by Scorsese.

Vince's hard-bitten wife, Joyce, (Juliana Margulies) feels lonely and frustrated as she feels the passion between Vincent and herself has died.
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