Los Angeles Film Festival
Welcome to the Rileys
Welcome to the Rileys
Summer Showcase
(USA, 110 mins)
Directed By: Jake Scott
Executive Producers: Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Steve Zaillian, Ken Hixon
Producers: Michael Costigan, Giovanni Agnelli, Scott Bloom
Screenwriter: Ken Hixon
Cinematographer: Christopher Soos
Editor: Nicolas Gaster
Cast: James Gandolfini, Kristen Stewart, Melissa Leo
In Jake Scott’s touching, beautifully shot first feature, Welcome to the Rileys, the muted lives of an Indiana couple are transformed in a way neither could have imagined. James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo are Doug and Lois Riley, whose marriage has turned into a frozen, empty ritual. Since the death of their teenaged daughter, she’s become agoraphobic, while he has fallen into a casual affair with a local waitress. On a business trip to New Orleans, Doug meets a tough 17-year-old runaway—played with unsettling bite by Kristen Stewart—who works as a pole dancer in the French Quarter. The two form an uneasy, unusual bond, each finding in the other something they desperately need. Meanwhile, back in Indiana, Lois realizes she must overcome her fear if her marriage is to have any future.

Scott, son of Ridley Scott, imbues this tale of self-reinvention with potent atmosphere and keen psychological insight, admirably skirting the pitfall of sentimentality. And in Stewart, Gandolfini, and Leo, he has three consummate, mesmerizing actors at his disposal. When they’re on screen, you can’t look away.

J.D. Blum
Expected to attend: Jake Scott, Kristen Stewart, Melissa Leo.
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