"Everybody's got a Bellini"
Welcome to Collinwood
Review by Ross Anthony

Establishing itself as a fun quirky comedy, brilliant-plan-gone-awry picture in its very first stagnant shot of four worn, torn and dirtied losers, the film keeps its promise with only one exception.

Scumbag Cosimo (Guzman) finds himself in a squad car after a failed car theft. This bumblingly fun opening dips quickly into a stale 5 to 10 minutes of talking heads as his fiancee on the outside recruits a gang of lowlife (yet charming) thugs to pull a job Cosimo learned about from a lifer. It's a "Bellini," many such underworld maneuvers in the film are given the names of their makers. The names are cute but don't add up to much.

Not to worry, once over the dry patch, "Collinwood" picks up momentum, wobbling amusingly like a bent-axled jalopy. Most of the characters are carefully crafted, though degenerates, they grow on you like hair.

Surprising, amusing and odd, the plot plays rather unpredictable, purposely misfiring like an old Cleveland V-8.

Produced by George Clooney, his contributions in front of the camera are fun but short-lived. As the safecracking expert Jerzy, he reviews some raw 16mm footage of a rich man dialing the combination of a safe. When asked what he thinks, Jerzy responds, "As a film...it's a disaster."

But it's Sam Rockwell as the pretty boy, would-be boxer Pero and Michael Jeter as Toto, the geriatric thief, that give the film its brightest sparks. The dance club scene in which Pero smiles his way out of a confrontation with hard nose detective Babbage made me laugh so hard, tears ran down my cheeks. A brilliant job on Rockwell's part.

All in all, the tears of laughter nudge this crime-farce up into the A minus range.

Toto encourages a new father in danger of incarceration, "That prison's got a nice nursery ... I was born there."

  • Welcome to Collinwood. Copyright © 2002. Rated R.
  • Starring Sam Rockwell, Michael Jeter, William H. Macy, William Guzman, Patricia Clarkson, Isaiah Washington, Andrew Davoli, Jennifer Esposito, Gabrielle Union.
  • Written and directed by Anthony and Joe Russo.
  • Produced by George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh at Padnoa/H5B5/Sectin Eight/Warner Bros. Pictures.


Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: RossAnthony.com

chili4 special olympians
power5 ra hforh radiop

Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:49:50 PDT