Welcome to the Rileys

"Very Good"

Welcome to the Rileys Review


Observant writing and direction make this exploration of grief surprisingly uplifting. This also gives the cast members the chance to play complex characters who engage our sympathies while never wallowing in their sadness.

Doug Riley (Gandolfini) and his wife Lois (Leo) have a quietly tense marriage that's infused with grief over the death of their teen daughter. So when Doug's mistress (Davis) dies suddenly, he doesn't know how to cope. Then he discovers that Lois has already bought their tombstone. On a business trip to New Orleans, he develops a tentative father-daughter relationship with young prostitute Mallory (Stewart). But while he's helping Mallory get back on her feet, Lois is in meltdown mode. So she stops taking her pills and drives to New Orleans.

Filmaker Scott creates a foreboding tone from the start, immediately plunging us into the Rileys' grief, which is clearly tearing them apart in the slowest, most painful way possible. These scenes are played with a raw, aching sadness by Gandolfini and Leo. So the contrast with the sparky Stewart is striking (and not just because her usual performances are so mopey). This approach pulls us in strongly, telling an intriguing story full of possibilities while drawing out an emotional response as events evolve in unexpected ways.

With such a character-based approach to the story, the film's rather gloomy mood never feels oppressive. The script, direction and performances all manage to find glimpses of hope and expressions of quiet resilience in every scene.

Even as Mallory resists Doug's help, and as Lois slips into desperation, there are moments of warm humanity and earthy humour. These three people may feel like they would rather be dead, but they're not dead yet. And the complex ways they come together are deeply involving.

It's nice to see a film take such an adult approach to a complex story, never simplifying things or playing to expectations. As a result, the performances feel fresh, with the three central actors playing strongly against type to find something interesting in each scene. And while Scott's sensitive direction and Hixon's loose script sometimes feel both imprecise and somewhat moralistic, these people get under our skin.



Welcome to the Rileys

Facts and Figures

Run time: 110 mins

In Theaters: Friday 18th November 2011

Box Office USA: $0.2M

Box Office Worldwide: $42.1 thousand

Distributed by: Samuel Goldwyn Films/Destination Films

Production compaines: Samuel Goldwyn Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 55%
Fresh: 43 Rotten: 35

IMDB: 7.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Giovanni Agnelli, Scott Bloom,

Starring: as Mallory, as Doug Riley, as Lois Riley, as Jerry, as Harriet, Tiffany Coty as Tara, Eisa Davis as Vivian, as Hamilton, as Brenda, Sharon Landry as Sharon, Kathy Lamkin as Charlene, as Danny, as Ed, Elliott Grey as Randy

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.