To begin with: please welcome the very fabulous Emily Mortimer to our cast. What do she and Otto Preminger and Andy Garcia and Alan Arkin and Woody Allen and Laurence Olivier and Lawrence Harvey all have in common? I'll get back to you on that...

Meanwhile, here is the Facebook page created for "City Island".Am I too old to understand why facebook is such a splendid addition to life? Something about it eludes me, yet here I am--forty-three and posting, for goddaskes--yet happy to ride on Facebook's successful coattails. To paraphrase Truman Capote: a boy must hustle his movie.

And here's a site all about the magical Bronxian place know as CIty Island.As the character played by Ms. Mortimer in the film says (or will say, once we shoot the scene): "City Island. I like it. It's sort of Nantucket by way of Washington Heights".

Now Emily Mortimer I first saw in Nicole Holofcener's "Lovely And Amazing"...and of course I loved her in Woody Allen's "Match Point". Though I had the oddest idea that the film--which I liked--might have been just a little weirder, kinkier and scarier if cherry, sweet Emily had Scarlet Johanson's role and vica versa. (Then again, as Francis Coppola was supposed to have said to the late Gene Siskel who was peppering him, in an interview about "Apocalypse Now", with his negatively-slanted opinions of the film: "Go make your own fucking movie") I'm privileged to have found Emily through Andy Garcia, who worked with her in "The Pink Panther" (which was shot after Andy and I had already hooked up on "City Island"). He called me immediately after working with her to tell me how great she'd be for "City Island". Her husband, Allesandro Nivola, is also a fine actor--he can be seen to great effect in Lisa Cholodenko's excellent "Laurel Canyon". And her father, John Mortimer, is not only the creator of "Rumplole Of The Bailey" (do you remember this as well as I do?--a Brit import that ran for decades, it seemed, on PBS in the golden age of the Masterpiece Theater years) but is the author of a number of screenplays of films that I always loved--significantly Otto Preminger's mid-sixties English-based noir "Bunny Lake Is Missing." There was a recent New York Times Book review of an unauthorized bio of Mr. Mortimer which gave me the impression that his life has been both happily fulfilled and...reasonably complicated. Perhaps it was the mention of the secret child he never knew he had who he discovered late in life...which sounded something like Andy Garcia's character Vince Rizzo...but enough about my movie. In "City Island", Emily plays the role of a woman named Molly Charlesworth, an English born, European-bred sophisticate who is trying to make it in New York as an actress...but possibly has a secret other life...and perhaps has created a few fictions about her background...

As to the six degrees question I posed in the opening paragraph, hints to the answer can be found scattered through the above text. Further hints will emerge in the coming days. Then again I may just forget the whole thing. Below is Emily on Craig Ferguson from a couple of years ago.


  1. Hi Raymond,
    I am a very big fan of Andy Garcia's and have been for many years. Thanks for keeping us up to date with your movie. I can't wait to see Andy in a leading role again. I did read that Marcia Gay Harden and Chloe Sevigny were going to be in the film. Is this not so?
    Good luck with the film and I am looking forward to reading your blogs.
    By the way I loved Rumpole and it has been shown a lot over the years here in Australia. I don't think I have seen Emily before but am looking forward to seeing her with Andy in two films.

  2. I honestly don't know much about Emily Mortimer, but I'm guessing she's in the Parker Posey/Zooey Deschanel style of actress -- which is very reassuring for the ultimate fate of this film.

  3. Anonymous--
    Chloe had to do "Big Love"--Emily's taken her part. You should see Emily in "Lars And The Real Girl" and "Match Point". She's unbelievably charming and...refreshing I guess is the best word for E.M. Also a voice with a little Jean Arthur crackle to it--if you know what I mean...

    And vp8...yes, you're absolutely right about the style of actress Emily is--good comparisons.