The 12 Best Things At This Year’s Tribeca Film Festival

The Best Cinematography

Floating Skyscrapers

Floating Skyscrapers is a shadowy, poignant film that will undoubtedly find an audience here in the U.S. All three of its lead actors should be lauded to the ends of the earth, and the same goes for its writer/director, Tomasz Wasilewski. Yet I also hope that its stunning images are not lost in the shuffle. Cinematographer Jakub Kijowski brings both pulsing sexuality and agonizing loneliness to shots both underwater and in the open, empty spaces of post-Communist Warsaw. Every image reaches out for meaning, there’s nary a wasted frame in the whole film. -Daniel Walber

The Best Character Wardrobe

Run and Jump

The greatest character wardrobe in any TFF 2013 movie belonged to Noni (Ciara Gallagher) in Steph Green‘s Run and Jump. Noni is an impossibly adorable, chipmunk cheeked little girl who has a strong affinity for wearing homemade knitwear that transforms her into a bevy of different animals, like a pig or squirrel, as pictured. Complete with a full body animal sweater, knit hat and appropriately-colored tights, the look is complete! Noni’s wardrobe is just a piece of the delightful whimsy and overall warm sentiment that is Run and Jump, but a part that stands out nonetheless. –Caitlin Hughes

The Best Female Protagonist


Haifaa al-Mansour’s debut feature, Wadjda, is going to be compared to Italian Neorealism quite a bit. It should be, and I’ve done it myself in my review. Yet there’s one big difference: while the children of films like Bicycle Thieves and Sciuscia are open-faced symbols of the struggling Italian Republic, Wadjda is wry, intelligent and very outspoken. Her buoyant spirit and refusal to accept the restrictions faced by women in Saudi Arabia is far from her stoic (and male) Neorealist forebears. The great success of the character is in no small part due to the incredibly charming Waad Mohammed, an exceptionally talented young actress who may give my favorite performance of the whole festival. -Daniel Walber

The Best Use of VFX

Lenny Cooke

Very rarely in a documentary can you compliment the VFX, but the final shot in the Josh and Benny Safdie‘s Lenny Cooke is worthy of such praise. They somehow superimposed an the older, fatter Cooke in older footage of the younger Cooke at basketball camp so that he could chide his younger self on the mistakes that he made. This could have been corny, but the Safdies do it right. And on an understandably small budget, this effect looks seamless – I almost thought I was seeing things at first when the two Cookes were on screen together. It also gives the documentary less of a depressing finish, since Cooke clearly learned from the mistakes of the past and is trying to move on. –Caitlin Hughes

The Best Sam Rockwell Role (Dancing Edition)

Sam Rockwell Dancing Sort Of

Dancing man Sam Rockwell popped up in no less than three Tribeca films this year, and he only danced in one of them. If you’re familiar with Rockwell’s limb-shaking work, you’ll understand that this is a huge disappointment. This is a man who even managed to dance in Iron Man 2. Rockwell’s sole dancing sequence appears in Kat Coiro‘s A Case of You, and he doesn’t even really dance per se, he just sort of chants and jumps around an ashram. We’ll take it. And you’ll doubly take it when we tell you that the ass-shaking in the ashram is only one facet of Rockwell’s wacky guitar teacher, a Brooklynite still obsessed with The Spin Doctors’ “Two Princes.” That what I said now, princes, princes who adore you… –Kate Erbland

The Best Sam Rockwell Role (Non-Dancing Edition)

A Single Shot

So if Rockwell wasn’t dancing his way through his Tribeca Trifecta, what was he doing? Well, in David M. Rosenthal‘s A Single Shot, he was getting in way over his head after accidentally killing a mysterious young woman out in the woods. The shooting is bad enough, but when Rockwell’s John Moon finds a box of cash near said dead woman, everything goes to hell in just one giant, bloodsoaked handbasket. One of Rockwell’s finest dramatic performances yet, A Single Shot comes complete with shades of Snow Angels, and is a fine addition to the Moon man’s stacked resume. -Kate Erbland

The FSR Staff is an author similar to Hydra. Its articles have many authors. It has many heads. Please don't cut off any of its heads, we're trying to work here.

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