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Friday, November 25, 2011

Welcome To The Rileys film review: Humourless and laboriously directed

Kristen Stewart whinges again as an impoverished, foul-mouthed 16-year-old runaway, stripper and prostitute in Welcome To The Rileys.

Presumably released in an attempt to cash in on the Twilight franchise, this is a weak American indie film about a middle-aged man (James Gandolfini) and his agoraphobic, pill-popping wife (Melissa Leo).

Runaway stripper: Kristen Stewart plays a 16-year-old stripper and prostitute in Welcome To The Rileys

After their own daughter is killed in a car crash, they try to adopt Stewart’s character as a surrogate replacement.

Ponderously directed by Jake Scott, son of Ridley, this is what is euphemistically described as an ‘actors’ piece’.

In other words, it’s seriously under-plotted, glacially paced and wears its good-heartedness on its sleeve so blatantly it loses its moorings in reality.

Cashing in: The film was presumably released to cash in on the Twilight franchise, also staring Miss Stewart (pictured)

Co-stars: Actor James Gandolfini (pictured left) plays a middle-aged man who adopts Kristen Stewart's character

Leo comes out of it least badly, showing a softer, shyer side than usual.

But her ability to snap out of agoraphobia is ridiculously abrupt.

No doubt the actors welcomed a script that’s virtually a three-hander.

But it’s so humourlessly and laboriously directed, it’s unlikely to attract an audience.

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