City Island

With Andy Garcia, Julianna Margulies
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New York has been captured on film so many times, it feels like we know every block of it, but City Island manages to show us a new side of it.

Set on the eponymous City Island - an idyllic fishing community at the tip of the Bronx - the film offers an amusing, warm-hearted portrait of a blue collar family that keeps rather too many secrets from each other.

Andy Garcia is Vincent Rizzo, a prison guard who dreams of becoming an actor and secretly goes to drama classes. He is so afraid of admitting this to his wife (Julianna Margulies on fiery form) that he pretends that he’s going to play poker - arousing her suspicion that he’s having an affair.

He’s not the only one with something to hide, though, and when he makes the ill-fated decision to bring home his estranged, ex-con son, the family’s secrets are revealed with colourful consequences.

In the end, the film resolves things rather too neatly, and for all its air of dysfunctionality, you feel that there was never any real danger of the family breaking up. Despite this, the warmth of the characters means that you don’t begrudge them for their eventual reconciliation.

5/10

Words by Ben Stevens

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