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WELCOME TO COLLINWOOD ,2002
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WELCOME TO COLLINWOOD MOVIE POSTER
WELCOME TO COLLINWOOD, 2002
Movie Reviews

Directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo
Starring: William H. Macy, Isaiah Washington, Sam Rockwell, Luis Guzman, Patricia Clarkson, Michael Jeter, Andrew Davoli, George Clooney, Jennifer Esposito, Gabrielle Union.
Review by Nina Katungi



SYNOPSIS:

A group of low-life, petty thieves come together perform a heist of all heists. They aren’t however the most professional of criminals and so this mission of theirs doesn’t exactly go to plan.

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REVIEW:

“Welcome to Collinwood” is a successful piece written and directed by two brothers, Anthony and Joe Russo. They’ve accomplished a funny, creative, fairytale of bandits. What’s interesting about this production is that it’s comprised of two filmmakers who are equally contributing their talents to this film. To create a well-structured and cohesive piece they would have had to be in sync with their vision and aspirations. I can imagine that working with two minds is not easy on the contrary it must be quite difficult. This film is also an ensemble piece, which means the story doesn’t just follow one character but several all at the same time and it manages to intertwine six, well-structured, stories into one. As a result it seems as though the brothers were paddling the same boat, perhaps the same paddle too because “Welcome to Collinwood” is a complete and well-balanced success.

The film takes place in a small town called, Collinwood. It doesn’t epitomise a specific period of time even though at times it gives off a classic 1920’s “Laurel and Hardy” theme or even a Charlie Chapman state of mind. The filmmakers have taken a pinch from different themes and genres blended them together creating a strong, colourful cocktail with a smooth and refreshing

finish. This world isn’t real but it’s clear that it can be created and marvelled, especially in this case. This film however has one of those unusual tastes, which means it won’t appeal to everyone. From my experience people either love this film or hate it, when it comes to emotions these two are very powerful reactions and hating something is sometimes better then not feeling anything at all.

Cosimo (Guzmàn) gets caught stealing a car and is put into jail. Cosimo share’s his cell with man who has been given life in prison who decides to share some information with Cosimo. This

information involves a stash of money hidden in a local jeweler’s safe. Cosimo is determined to get that money and convinces his girlfriend, Rosalind (Clarkson) to find someone to take the blame for his actions. Cosimo asks her to find a “malinski” for the price of $15.000 to take his place in jail. Rosalind goes to Toto (Jeter), Cosimo’s partner in crime. In order for Toto to help Rosalind must spill the beans about Cosimo’s “bellini” or in other words about the money in the safe. Toto goes out on the streets of Collinwood to find a “malinski” for Cosimo. He talks to Basil (Davoli) and spills the same information to him. Then with the same previous theme, they go and talk to Leon (Washington) who leads them to Riley (Macy) who then finally leads them to Pero (Rockwell), the not-so-talented boxer.

The group all turn up at a boxing match where Pero will be fighting. They try to convince him but he is blindly driven by his huge boxing “talent” – he’s knocked out by the first punch. Pero takes the blame for the auto theft but instead of getting Cosimo out, his jail time is extended. Pero ends up in jail too but turns out to be smarter then anyone expected because he manages to find out all the information about the money in the safe. The group end up partaking in the heist without Cosimo. None of them have any idea of how to go about stealing the money and so they seek help and advice from Jerzy (Clooney). And so the journey begins for these guys, however everything that can go wrong does go wrong and as a result leads all the characters down an unexpected trail of revelation.

The film entails a group of talented actors each with an extremely colourful character to portray. They all have an individual reason for their involvement. Pero, for example, is an under-achiever with no real future in sight and this heist may just be his last hope, at least that’s what he thinks. While his wife has been given a one year sentence for fraud, Riley must take care of their nine-month old son and he’s on his last penny. Leon wants to pay for his sister’s marriage, while Toto has always lived a life of a petty criminal and simply doesn’t know how to do anything else. They may seem like sob stories, but the tone of the film is light and quirky with a side-helping of dark humour. All these elements entail the good with the bad and the happy with the sad. You couldn’t ask for a better cast either, neither of them outshine the other because they are all equally brilliant. This film is smart, original, and highly entertaining.

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