City Island

City Island is a modest working-class neighborhood on the outskirts of New York City. Its citizens are long-time residents who are employed in a variety of mundane jobs, e.g., receptionists, prison guards, etc., some of which are across the bridge in The City, and some closer to home.

"City Island" is a film about secrets: secrets held by working-class folks who have fashioned decent lives with their homes, their jobs and their families. Some of the secrets seem trivial, e.g., spouses still sneaking cigarettes even though they claim to have quit smoking, while other secrets are worthy of a film.

Writer/Director Raymond De Felitta ("'Tis Autumn: The Search for Jackie Paris") has assembled a top-notch cast, among whom we see:
  • Andy Garcia (the "Ocean's" franchise) as a third generation Italian citizen of City Island; he is corrections officer who is concealing his acting lessons from his wife. In addition, he has another really BIG secret.
  • Julianna Margulies ("The Good Wife") is our hero's equally Italian wife, opinionated, outspoken and more than a little frustrated. She is determined to create a secret of her own.
  • Steven Strait ("Stop-Loss") plays a felon whose mere existence is a huge secret.
  • Alan Arkin ("Sunshine Cleaning") is a Brando-hating acting instructor who secretly slips out for auditions.
  • Dominik Garcia-Lorido ("Reflections") is the Italian couple's college-age daughter; believe me, she should keep her job a secret! Fun Fact: she is the real life daughter of Andy Garcia, here playing his film daughter.
  • Ezra Miller (lots of TV) is their teenage son with a weighty secret desire....
  • Emily Mortimer ("Shutter Island") plays a fellow student in our hero's acting class; she has not one secret, but three!
This is billed as a drama, but it's laced with good-natured humor through- out, e.g., did they ever finish building that extra bathroom? Our screening crowd thoroughly enjoyed it.