Three and a half stars
It’s strange that people have dubbed Dobbs Ferry, New York, “Hollywood East,” but it’s been a fixture of cinematic summer nights since the end of the second world war, home to classic Hollywood hotel and production studios and famous “face” actors in retirement and unexpected roles.
But it’s small town life that mixed with Hollywood’s magic and also the theme of an independent drama that follows the life of the formidable Albie O’Sullivan, a successful businesswoman whose husband has drifted off to fancy Yank University.
Albie is privately dismayed by the two lives she leads, but the betrayal she’s most upset about is being 50 years old, having shared her home with her husband and two kids only to be at her own funeral. Despite her dreams of retiring to a ranch to run a bison farm on the Canadian border in Colorado, a life-changing heart attack to her real estate agent gives her the chance to secure her hometown retirement residence with an 11-year-old, Eric, who doesn’t mind the rough-and-tumble travelling life at all.
As ever, the characters involved represent high art and everyday life. From a respected journalist who tries to renegotiate the terms of Albie’s paper deal for the bridge near their house, and a realtor-slash-cocaine-dealer flitting from motel to motel to attempt to hook up with a potential next of kin, there are people with struggling lives and affluent lives and the same going on.
This is a food and drink loving place to visit, but the negatives—you have to leave the house, but the house has a view—speak for themselves.
Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.