The Opportunists

Director: Myles Connell
Screenwriters: Myles Connell

Institute History


All Victor Kelly (Christopher Walken) really wants is to be a responsible man, earn an honest living, and in so doing, redeem himself for the lifetime of trouble he has caused his small, fractured family. But Vic’s skills as an auto mechanic are not nearly as marketable as his safecracking abilities.

When a young man named Michael (Peter McDonald) appears on his doorstep, claiming to be a cousin from Ireland, Vic reluctantly offers shelter and assistance. Michael has come to America to benefit from the man he believes is a successful mobster—as legend back home tells it. The Vic he finds is completely different. With help from two neighborhood guys, Michael backs Vic into a corner where one last heist seems the only way out. Too proud and bullheaded to accept help from his girlfriend, Sally (Cyndi Lauper), Vic chooses to risk everything for one last shot to save his business and his family.

Walken, known for his intense and gripping portrayals of some of the most memorable screen characters of all time, shows his range by delivering a superbly measured performance that validates writer/director Myles Connell’s recreation of his own neighborhood. The incisive simplicity with which these people’s lives are drawn brings a visual and emotional authenticity to the film. The Opportunists works because of its realism and truths, its dialogue and characters, and its subtle, careful storytelling in the voice of someone who obviously knows and loves the places it depicts.

— Trevor Groth

Screening Details

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