Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

City Island


This was a new one on me. There is a place in The Bronx, almost in Connecticut, which is essentially a small fishing village. It is being relentlessly gentrified, I just checked Zillow and you can’t buy a house there for less than $500,000, up to a million or so. But they still fish. It is an island, though it looks like you could wade across from New York City Proper. Here a lifelong resident, Andy Garcia, lives with his wife and pain-in-the-ass son. They have a grown daughter. All four of them claim to have given up smoking, and all four are still sneaking smokes. And they all have at least one more secret. Andy is a prison guard who has always aspired to be an actor, and is taking lessons, pretending he’s playing poker with the boys. The son is a “chubby chaser,” fascinated by extremely fat women like the one across the street who has a website where men sign in to watch her cook and eat. (Which I just learned is called “feederism.” You learn something new every day. The actress who plays this woman must weigh in at 500 pounds, and will certainly be dead in a decade or less unless she sheds some of that.) The daughter lost her college scholarship and didn’t tell her parents, and is working as a stripper and pole dancer.

Andy discovers his biological son in prison, and brings him home under some kind of work release program, but does not tell him. And things gradually come to a point where the adult son must be longing to go back to the pen. It’s all well-written and acted, one of those small films that only play at film festivals and such. I enjoyed it. Things work out well for everybody. Andy, for instance, in spite of the worst Brando impression ever seen, lands a part in a Scorsese film. And that’s my one gripe. One of the final scenes is Andy being riddled with bullets, and then someone calls “Cut!” Now, would it have killed Marty to show up for ten minutes of filming, coaching Andy on how to die? Oh, well.