The Reel Review

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The youngest daughter of a 1980s-era, Staten Island mob boss must rectify whether she wants a life with her crime family or to break free. Emily Bader, Odessa A’zion and Jennifer Esposito star in this crime drama that Esposito also wrote, produced and directed.

Emily Bader in Fresh Kills

Esposito’s impressive screenplay is gritty and very realistic, telling the mobster story from a distinctly and uniquely female point of view – something not really explored in prior mobster crime dramas. Despite a strange title (Fresh Kills was the name of a former landfill on Staten Island named after the nearby Fresh Kills estuary), Esposito, as a fellow actor, allows her story and her characters to breathe. The strong female-led cast includes Bader (Lady Jane, Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin) as the conflicted protagonist Rose, A’zion (Hellraiser) as her tough-talking older sister, Esposito as their mother and Annabella Sciorra (The Sopranos, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle) as her aunt.

Annabella Sciorra, Odessa A’zion, Jennifer Esposito and Emily Bader in Fresh Kills

This is one of the best mob movies in years. Esposito may just find herself picking up some awards for this one.

REEL FACTS

• Born in Brooklyn and raised on Staten Island, Jennifer Esposito (The Boys, NCIS) mortgaged her house to make this film.

• The Fresh Kills landfill, which previously was the world’s largest landfill, closed in 2001, and has since been reclaimed as a multi-phase, 30-year site redevelopment project.

Annabella Sciorra at the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault trial in 2020.

• Annabella Sciorra was a key witness in the Harvey Weinstein #metoo predatory sexual assault trial, testifying that he raped her in the early 1990s and that he continued to harass her in subsequent years.

 

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