VideoMediaStars: 'Welcome to the Rileys' Reviews: Kristen Stewart Shows Serious Acting Skills

Much has been said about “Twilight” star Kristen Stewart and whether she can do more acting than just her hallow-eyed, absent-minded impression of Bella. “Welcome to the Rileys,” her latest film, should answer all those questions. 

The star, whom many stars identify with the mortal girl in the immensely successful “Twilight” movie franchise, caught between the affections of a vampire and a werewolf, takes on an entirely different character in “Rileys.”

The film, which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, also stars James Gandolfini and deals with the story of a “working girl” slash exotic dancer (Kristen) who is “adopted” by grieving parents the Rileys.

Though the film is receiving mixed to negative reviews, primarily because of how certain elements in the plot are dealt with and because of Jake Scott’s direction, the actors in it are getting mostly praising reviews.

Gandolfini’s accent is a little too much to take, most critics seem to agree, as the LA Times sums up, but his presence is very strong onscreen – and, most importantly, very convincing.

Stewart also does her best, thus managing to convince even the most skeptic of critics that there’s more to her acting skills than what she lets show in “Twilight.”

She has depth and, above all, she has that special ability to go to some deep, dark place inside of her (that no one even knew existed) and bring out the tormented little girl who has to sell herself to survive.

“Stewart gives the kind of raw performance those of us who’d practically fallen asleep during her comatose Twilight line readings forgot she was capable of. Perhaps her experience as a child actor was fraught with equivalent perils, but whatever she’s tapping into here, it clearly hits her nerves, and ours,” E! says in a review of the film.

“Much of the pleasure of the film is watching Gandolfini and Stewart navigate a minefield pocked with stopped toilets, no electricity, arrests and even angry johns,” Los Angeles Times’ Betsy Sharkey says.

“What keeps the film’s fragile realism intact are actors who can make even small moments count,” Manohla Dargis of the New York Times also says.

As is usually the case, not all critics are convinced by Stewart’s good acting. Village Voice critic Dan Kois, for instance, only takes from “Rileys” the conclusion that Stewart gives her best performance when she’s not in front of the camera.

“Try as Stewart might, she can’t turn this Manic Trixie Nightmare Girl into a real person. And so the best moments of ‘Welcome to the Rileys’ don’t include its most bankable star at all. Well played, Kristen Stewart. An anti-star is born,” Kois says. 

Source via @KStewAngel

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