Kristen Stewart’s “Welcome to the Rileys” available on demand

By Kim Palacios The critically acclaimed indie flick “Welcome to the Rileys” is now available with select carriers on demand. The film originally debuted in January 2010 at Sundance and was screened again at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June.

While Stewart fans admire the actress for choosing gritty, complex characters and off the beaten path roles, some of the actress’ films are so obscure, they fail to see widespread distribution. This means that fans must often wait months—sometimes closer to a year—before getting a chance to see any film outside of the festival circuit.

In “Welcome to the Rileys,” James Gandolfini (the protagonist) plays Doug Riley, a wayward soul whose deteriorating life comes to a halt when he goes on a business trip to New Orleans. His sudden inertia comes at the culmination of a series of traumas, including his young daughter’s death eight years before, the deterioration of his marriage, and the recent death of his mistress.

Stewart plays Mallory, an underage stripper and prostitute who Doug meets while she is at work. Though Mallory treats Doug as she would a client (e.g., proffering sex for money), Doug is unable to indulge such a relationship because Mallory reminds him of his late daughter. And, so the pair become intertwined—Doug pays Mallory to stay in her apartment, but begins to care for her as he might care for a grown child. Yet, their lives remain complicated: Doug’s wife, Lois (played by Oscar Winner Melissa Leo), eventually comes after him and Mallory doesn’t necessarily want a surrogate father.

The role is a far cry from anything Stewart has done in the past, given her child star status and the teen targeting of recent works such as the Twilight films. Few of her roles to date have found her personified as an adult and been geared toward adult audiences.

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