Feature

Welcome to the Rileys

James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo play a disaffected couple still suffering from the death of their teenage daughter several years earlier.

Directed by Jake Scott(R)

*

Welcome to the Rileys is mostly a “quiet conversation about despair and hope,” said Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times. James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo play Doug and Lois Riley, a disaffected couple still suffering from the death of their teenage daughter several years earlier. Lois has become a shut-in, unable to face the world, while Doug tries to escape grief by stringing out indefinitely a business trip to New Orleans. But as “small-scale and intimate as it is,” the film loses its focus when Doug tries to help out a teenage stripper (Kristin Stewart). Director Jake Scott, son of Ridley, tries to simulate poignancy by having the story unspool at a “sluggish pace,” said Peter DeBruge in Variety. But the characters merely seem stuck “in a state of suspended animation.” This is a film that sketches out a “borderline-preposterous” premise and then “waits for the actors to bring it home,” said Ty Burr in The Boston Globe. The actors are good. But not that good.

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