"Understated comedy gem with standout performances"
Welcome to Collinwood was so hysterical that I can barely keep from giggling as I write this review.Cosimoís (Luis Guzman) half-assed attempt at stealing a car has landed him in jail facing Grand Theft Auto. Cosimoís cellmate, a former bricklayer in for life, fills him in on the perfect heist. The bricklayer made a faux-brick wall between a jewelry store and a long vacant apartment. All someone has to do is push through the wall and theyíd be set for life. Itís the perfect Bellini (heist of a lifetime.) Cosimo has got to find a way out of jail to make off with the money. With the help of his fiancťe Rosalind (the ever luminous Patricia Clarkson) Cosimo tries to find a Molinsky. A what? A Molinsky takes cash in exchange for taking the rap and doing the time. Rosalind enlists Toto, who botched the car theft lookout, to find a Molinsky. Each person they try to enlist leads to a bigger pool of willing participantís in Cosimoís Bellini.
I should preface this review by saying Iíve never seen the original Italian movie upon which this movie is based. Thatís probably why I liked it so much. Welcome to Collinwood didnít find the audience it deserved in the theaters, which is a shame. Part of the problem was the attempted platforming. Platforming means opening the movie in smaller release and building on it every weekend with more screens and more towns. It worked for movies like Chicago and Shakespeare in Love. Those movies are bound to catch an audience by word of mouth. But something like Welcome to Collinwood wonít find its audience by the buzz-method. Thatís a shame, because itís a damn solid little comedy.
The stars in Welcome are unarguably some of the best working actors in current cinema: Patricia Clarkson, Luis Guzman, William H Macy, Sam Rockwell, and the late under-rated great Michael Jeter. George Clooney dons one costume that had me snorting milk out my nose.
Have you seen this movie before? Sure, the beauty is that the viewer knows exactly what is going to happen next. You're waiting for the inevitable and the story delivers. Despite the somewhat derivative story, the writing and the performances carry Welcome to Collinwood to a respectable movie.If you want a huge comedy with outrageous performances amidst grand sets, this little gem is not for you. However, if you can appreciate an earnest comedy with solid, and sometimes touching, performances, rent Welcome To Collinwood.