"Welcome to the Rileys"-recension av rottentomatoes.com

Welcome to the Rileys, to its credit, doesn't conform to narrative expectations. It's a drama, but a drama on the edge of utter destruction. Kristen Stewart is Allison ... or Mallory, depending on the scene (trust me, this makes sense). She's an exotic dancer in New Orleans, she meets James Gandolfini (who is on a business trip), and we're off from there.

James Gandolfini (as Doug Riley) is a damaged man. His wife, played by Melissa Leo, is a damaged woman. And of course Kristen Stewart's Allison is not exactly emotionally stable. As such, the interplay between the relationships involved is fraught with peril. It makes for an engaging, if tense, viewing experience.

On the acting front, Stewart is a live wire throughout the near two-hour running time presented here. She comes off like a rabid dog, completely unpredictable; it's easy to see why directors see so much potential in her work. She's great here. Gandolfini is also excellent, he continues to pick tremendous scripts (his work in In the Loop was also exceptional).

The intriguing part about Welcome to the Rileys is the innovation level of the story itself. It's not about New Orleans, it's not about strippers, it's not about any one thing in particular, though the broad themes of personal responsibility, grief, and trust are certainly broached. Each scene involves heavy doses of dialogue, but heavy doses of silence and body language, too. It's a patient and deliberate effort out of director Jake Scott and it portends well for his career. Mr. Scott clearly has a deft touch, something that will serve him well should he choose to continue in the genre of indie/dramatic work.

My only knock on Welcome to the Rileys? It's probably too subtle a work to really stick with viewers. The dialogue and settings are so natural that they don't lodge in your memory for long afterward. But you could do far worse. See it for Stewart's electric performance, Galdolfini's papa bear strength, or to scout an up-and-coming director in Jake Scott. If it makes it to a theater near you, give Welcome to the Rileys a few hours of your life. We'll meet back here to discuss.

Grade: B




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