FILM REVIEW: CITY ISLAND – Thumbs Up for Andy Garcia

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By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

Writer and Director Raymond De Felitta’s CITY ISLAND is the perfect comedy. Andy Garcia is totally appealing as prison guard, “Vince Rizzo”. Vince has a few secrets going on. And so does everybody else in the Rizzo Household, set on this water-surrounded borough of the Bronx – City Island. The film maintains a steady pace of set-ups and punch lines. The Rizzo Family is seriously dysfunctional, they’re prone to collective deception, and getting really loud. Raymond De Felitta presents a screenplay that is sharp and buoyant, sometimes titillating, loaded with venting, and sparked by occasional ruptures of the madcap. Telling the Truth is not the easiest thing for the Rizzos. For Spring Break, City Island is the Best in Show.

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ANDY GARCIA – as Vince Rizzo. Production stills, Phil Garcia.

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JULIANNA MARGULIES – as Joyce Rizzo

Vince – the alpha father, has a regular poker night, but lately he’s been attending Acting Class. Not what you talk about with just anybody, especially the wife and kids. Except there’s this girl, “Molly” (Emily Mortimer), who is going through the same put-yourself-forward exercises learned in Mr. Malakov’s acting class. Vince and Molly start hanging out and pretty soon a good martini will be coming into the picture. Julianna Margulies as “Joyce”, as in Mrs. Rizzo – is on fire and lookin’ like she’s too hot too handle. Joyce and Vincent Rizzo are closet smokers. Is Vince having an affair?

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ALAN ARKIN – as Michael Malakov

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EMILY MORTIMER & ANDY GARCIA

Ezra Miller, as their son “Vince Jr.”, is a super find. Slender young Vince and his burgeoning hormones are colliding with overweight voluptuous babes – one of them, a next door neighbor with a you-know-you-want-it web site. Junior is smitten. His sister, “Vivian” (Dominik Garcia-Lorido), has been kicked out of school and nobody knows she’s working as a pole dancer. They’re all about to meet Vince Sr.’s bastard son. The other day, Officer Vince is checking the list of new prisoners. An unusual name grips his attention. Turns out, the devastatingly handsome and smoldering stud with the challenging eyes belong to prisoner “Tony Nardelli” – the great secret of Vince’s past. The first born son. What to do? Vince arranges to bring Tony home to City Island for his period of sentencing. His rehabilitation assignment is to build a bathroom. If he attempts to escape City Island, he will regret it. He may anyway. Tony quickly gets it that dinner with the Rizzo Family is an exercise in Survival.

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JULIANNA MARGULIES & ANDY GARCIA

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STEVEN STRAIT – as Tony Nardella

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MEET THE RIZZOS: Ezra Miller, Julianna Margulies, Dominik Garcia-Lorido, Andy Garcia

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Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”, which is being prepared for publication. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: sean.martinfield@comcast.net.


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