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4.1 out of 5 stars
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4.1 out of 5 stars
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An intimate, fairly slow-moving social drama, very much a three-hander performance-wise from the star cast who dominate the story.

Gandolfini and Leo put in fine performances as the estranged couple struggling to come to terms with the death of their teenage daughter eight years ago; this was one of several edgy character performances from Stewart following her success in a certain quadrilogy, and here she portrays the self-destructive Alice/Mallory (whom Gandolfini`s character befriends) with a degree of subtlety and feeling. All three characters are damaged, but over the course of the drama, all turn a corner in their lives; it has an underlying melancholy, some humour and ultimately has a note of hope.
A sensitive, reasonably successful tale, nicely filmed mainly around New Orleans locations and fairly convincing; Melissa Leo`s is the stand-out performance if I had to choose, but the success of the film belongs to all three stars.
A fairly good little film of its type.

The UK DVD release is absolutely bare-bones, with no subtitles of extras of any kind.
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Kristen Stewart will of course get the lion's share of publicity on this one as a prostitute that's one step away from oblivion (she actually deserves the hype that surrounds her) - but for me it's the combo of James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo who are astonishing.

Directed by Jake Scott and Executive Produced by his famous relations Tony and Ridley of Scott Free Productions - 2010's "Welcome To The Rileys" is a small independent movie with a big heart and even bigger performances.

Doug Riley is on autopilot - playing out his joyless poker games on Thursday night with the boys - sleeping with Vivienne the waitress in the local diner - not sleeping with Lois his wife of 30 years. But there's a reason for his wife's frigidity and her desperately lonely pill taking - not to mention Doug's quiet sobbing in the garage with a cigarette in the dark. Both Doug and Lois lost their 15-year old daughter Emily in an avoidable car accident in 2001 - and with unspoken hurt and unallocated blame - have been escalating damaged goods ever since. But when Vivien his diner-lover of 4 years dies (a subtle performance by Eisa Davis) and Doug goes on a business holiday to New Orleans - he gets more than he bargained for when he goes upstairs with a 17-year old pole dancer and hooker. And this is where the real story begins...

The acting in "Welcome To The Rileys" is top class and goes a long to forgiving the largely terrible picture quality (a lot of night shots with little or no clarity). First up is a magnificent turn by Gandolfini. In what could have been such a pervy role, he lends his big-bruiser Doug a good-man's gravitas that is wholly believable. Melissa Leo gets the toughest role - and she eats it up with a performance that keeps you glued. And then there's the talented and beautiful Kristen - her jumpy malnourished creation is all spotty skin, blurred eye shadow and bruised limbs. Mallory has been dumped on all of her life - and her street-fighting cornered-rat mistrust of everything takes some breaking through. But Doug is determined - and so is his wife - who comes after Doug and has to make some major life-adjustments herself. All three have been rightly applauded for their work in this...

Ok - "Welcome To The Rileys" is perhaps a little implausible at times - but the writing and the storytelling will slowburn their way into your heart. And it has an ending that isn't pat - despite the huge pressure there must have been on Jake Scott to deliver just that - happy families all the way...

A bit of an overlooked gem frankly. I liked this film a lot.

Put it high on your rental list.
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on 15 May 2016
It's a good film. You become sympathetic with all the main actors. It's not one of those DVD you might want to keep, watched it once will do, but it has that nice psychological side which I like in films as it keeps you engaged.
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on 21 March 2017
good buy
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on 11 August 2014
Was ok... not very captivating but was easy enough to watch
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on 10 January 2011
This is a 2009 indie film directed by Jake Scott (son of Ridley and nephew of Tony). It's been a long while coming, as is the case with many indie films but, in the words of Kristen Stewart herself 'I guess people will want to check out the Twilight girl dressed up as a stripper'.

This is arguably true to an extent, but this movie offers a lot more. KStew gives a very impressive side in her performance here, as a foul-mouthed young woman who has seen it all in a lousy hand dealt to her by life.

Ever since the death of their daughter Emily, Doug (James Gandolfini) and Lois Riley (Melissa Leo) have been drifting apart. As Lois wrestles with guilt over her daughter's death, Doug copes by entering into an affair with Vivian, a local waitress. Lately, Lois hasn't even been able to muster the courage to venture outside. When Vivian dies and Doug finds himself in a New Orleans strip club during a business trip, he realises he's come to a crossroads in life.

Turning down an offer for a private dance by 16-year-old stripper/prostitute Mallory (Kristen Stewart), Doug instead accompanies the girl home and makes a most unusual proposition: If Mallory will allow him to stay in her run down apartment long enough to straighten himself out, he will pay her $100 a day for her trouble, and make no attempt to sleep with her at all (a deal many men would perhaps have negotiated somewhat differently).
For Mallory, who isn't used to getting money for nothing, it seems like a great deal. She accepts, and Doug phones Lois to tell her he won't be coming home.
As time passes, Doug and Mallory settle into an unconventional kind of domesticity.

However, things veer off this cosy new path when Lois decides to break out and head down to New Orleans herself....

I really liked this film, which has a quiet but absorbing pace as it delivers its message of hope, redemption and learning to accept one's losses and move on.

Highly recommended.
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on 22 September 2011
I really enjoyed this film. Not compatible with my DVD player as i am in the UK, but could watch it on my laptop. Gandolfini is great as the caring compassionate stranger, his relationship with Stewart plays well. It was refreshing to see Stewart in a completely different role than that of Bella Swan etc etc. I feel she really did the part justice and although only 21, she can act as well as the rest of them, if not better. Hence her popularity and in-demand status. Melissa Leo's performance was fantastic, enlightening and believable and all three characters were well written and cast. If you like all three actors and/or would just like to see Stewart in a different genre than Twilight, then give it a try. Great movie, highy recommend it.
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on 30 January 2015
Very boring movie, very disappointed.
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on 10 November 2014
This is a 2009 indie film directed by Jake Scott (son of Ridley and nephew of Tony). It's been a long while coming, as is the case with many indie films but, in the words of Kristen Stewart herself 'I guess people will want to check out the Twilight girl dressed up as a stripper'.

This is arguably true to an extent, but this movie offers a lot more. KStew gives a very impressive side in her performance here, as a foul-mouthed young woman who has seen it all in a lousy hand dealt to her by life.

Ever since the death of their daughter Emily, Doug (James Gandolfini) and Lois Riley (Melissa Leo) have been drifting apart. As Lois wrestles with guilt over her daughter's death, Doug copes by entering into an affair with Vivian, a local waitress. Lately, Lois hasn't even been able to muster the courage to venture outside. When Vivian dies and Doug finds himself in a New Orleans strip club during a business trip, he realises he's come to a crossroads in life.

Turning down an offer for a private dance by 16-year-old stripper/prostitute Mallory (Kristen Stewart), Doug instead accompanies the girl home and makes a most unusual proposition: If Mallory will allow him to stay in her run down apartment long enough to straighten himself out, he will pay her $100 a day for her trouble, and make no attempt to sleep with her at all (a deal many men would perhaps have negotiated somewhat differently).
For Mallory, who isn't used to getting money for nothing, it seems like a great deal. She accepts, and Doug phones Lois to tell her he won't be coming home.
As time passes, Doug and Mallory settle into an unconventional kind of domesticity.
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Poor Kristen Stewart hasn't had an easy ride in the popular press. First she's constantly linked with - the pretty one-dimensional - Bella Swann from the Twilight franchise and then she gets her love-life in a tangle and everyone takes R-Patz' side.

Somewhere, amid the mess of her personal life, she got round to making `Welcome to the Riley's,' with Sopranos star James Gandolfini. Sadly, not enough people seemed to notice. It was an `indie' film that never really got much of a mainstream release, therefore she remained `Bella' in the press' eyes all the way through this.

However, if you can give her a chance, you may get more than an hour and a half of her holding her mouth open and refusing to smile. James Gandolfini gives a - naturally - great performance as a man who had lost his teenage daughter in a car accident. On a work trip he gives his colleagues the slip and takes refuge in a strip club where he meets Kristen Stewart, who he beings a - plutonic - relationship with, treating her like a surrogate daughter.

That's about it as far as the plot goes. At first (the beginning twenty minutes) I was pretty disinterested and was wondering what I got into. However, I was very pleased with how it transpired. It's actually quite a tender story of emotionally damaged people coming together.

It's certainly not a laugh a minute and is the sort of film that you have to be in quite a deep, reflective, thoughtful mood to really appreciate (or just want to see Kristen Stewart not surrounded by computer generated monsters).

Nice film. Give it a try.
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