Welcome to the Rileys (15)
Starring: James Gandolfini, Kristen Stewart, Melissa Leo
The best thing about this gentle story of bereavement and healing are the honest performances of the central trio.
James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo play Doug and Lois, a couple in suburban Indiana whose marriage has seized up after the death of their teenage daughter in a car accident: he has sought refuge in an affair, she's a pill-popping agoraphobic who has already planted a headstone in the local cemetery with both their names on it ("it's called pre-planning"). While on a business trip in New Orleans, Doug makes the acquaintance of a sulky teenage prostitute (Kristen Stewart) and decides to move into her grotty apartment, becoming housekeeper and father figure. When Lois makes a surprise appearance in New Orleans, the stage is set.
Gandolfini, still pulling away from the shadow of Tony Soprano, is touching as the regular guy who doesn't know what to do with his grief, while Stewart, a more volatile presence than in her Twilight role, is cool enough to go greasy-haired and spotty. Melissa Leo perhaps does the most thoughtful work, especially in a bar scene where she's surprised by a man trying to pick her up. Director Jake Scott respects the tenderness of Ken Hixon's not-quite-believable script. Even at its most pat and sentimental, you never doubt its heart.
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 Friends 20th anniversary: The highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
- 4 The response to my Pizza Express review has been overwhelming, and taught me a lot about journalism
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams cast in Channel 4 drama about cyber bullying
Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea's 'Booty' music video is just a load of butts
Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written
Friends 20th anniversary: The highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes