That warmth in the air? It’s not spring, it’s festival season (which, admittedly, tends to stretch all throughout the year, but at least this one doesn’t require the use of snowsuits to enjoy it). As we begin to work our way towards the spring and summer section of the festival year (and, yes, it’s still spring, you guys, festival season doesn’t just supersede that), it’s time to get excited about genuinely fresh films and brand new offerings, the kind that just might have to carry us through another long, hard awards season.
Okay, it’s always some kind of season. This is all a long, flowery (see, spring!) way of talking about the Tribeca Film Festival, which kicks off this week. A strong mix of new features and even a few holdovers from Toronto, Sundance, and SXSW, Tribeca is just the ticket to get Gotham-ites back into movie-going after a seemingly endless awards season, and we’ve even got some stellar suggestions for you to (we hope) enjoy.
Sleeping With Other People
One of my hands-down favorites from Sundance, this Leslye Headland romantic comedy succeeds because of something very simple: excellent star chemistry. Alison Brie and Jason Sudeikis star as former college pals (well, kind of) who are reunited after a series of disastrous romances. There’s a twist, though: they just want to be friends. Relationship flunkies of the highest order, they vow to stay just friends, which comes with some very mixed results.
After an ominous event called “The Reset,” humanity is stuck with a mess of old technology, and a new surveillance state hellbent on keeping everyone in line. Big sci-fi ideas meld with smaller scale storytelling to present a new future vision with a lot to recommend it.
Albert Maysles’s final project takes viewers onto The Empire Builder, the country’s busiest long-distance train route, to give them a clearer look at an old-school style of travel that still has plenty to teach us about life in the modern world.
Nat Wolff is about to be our new Ansel Elgort — after all, the Fault In Our Stars co-star does have a role in John Green’s next (and much-hyped) adaptation, Paper Towns — but before that, the budding leading man gets to hang tight with both Mickey Rourke and Emma Roberts in a coming-of-age charmer that boasts a hell of a twist (one that involves a CIA assassin, and one we won’t reveal here).
Oscar Isaac and Garrett Hedlund star in this literally dirty send-up of Hollywood life, playing a pair of industry dropouts who end up hashing out their issues in a desert wasteland. But will there be dancing?
Another Sundance hit, Patrick Brice’s uproarious look at modern relationships features Taylor Schilling, Adam Scott, Jason Schwartzman, and Judith Godreche as newbie parent pals who decide to hang out for – what seems to be – a cool night at home. As the film winds on, however, things get increasingly more weird, bizarre, and totally naked.
The Adderall Diaries
It’s your annual James Franco Tribeca film, this one based on Stephen Elliott’s memoir of the same name. Bolstered by a supporting cast that includes Amber Heard, Christian Slater, and Cynthia Nixon, this is one Franco-driven drama that could really deliver.
Onur Tukel’s latest promises dark comedy mixed up with actual ickiness – like body parts – all stemming from an apparently ill-advised on-air confession. It sounds wacky and fizzy and fun, a New York-tinged feature that looks poised to be a real crowdpleaser.
Pairing Jessica Biel and Zosia Mamet up as deeply mismatched sisters is intriguing enough, but Diane Bell’s feature looks to have a lot to say about the bonds between siblings, the problem with expectations, and the kind of unexpected breakthroughs that only major family drama could dish out.
Just go see it.
Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck
This Cobain-centric doc was well-recieved at Sundance, and even though it’s sitting the small screen soon, it’s unquestionably a must-see for fans of the gone but certainly not forgotten rocker.
Live From New York!
Fans of Saturday Night Live are always hungry for more insight into the venerable NBC sketch comedy series, and this new documentary – the festival’s opening night offering, no less – promises to provide a inside the American comedy institution. (One small thing to worry about, though? At just 82 minutes, we’re eager to see everything they leave out.)
Ahnuld is back, baby. With a new Terminator movie mere weeks away, Arnold Schwarzenegger is having a bit of a renaissance, and although the actor could easily skate by on more franchise features, his turn in Maggie belies an interest in doing something genuinely fresh. He stars in the film as a dedicated dad who is dismayed to find that his eldest child (played by Abigail Breslin) has been infected with the nasty zombie virus that’s nearly destroyed the world. Hellbent on saving his child, he goes to great, bloody lengths to heal her.
Men Go to Battle
FSR favorite Kate Lyn Sheil co-wrote this period-set feature about a pair of brothers torn apart by the American Civil War, a film bolstered by major research and a handful of actual war reenactors on board to lend it the kind of gritty feel such a story deserves.
The Tribeca Film Festival runs from April 15 until April 26, plenty of time to make room for one – or all! – of these fourteen surefire winners.
Related Topics: Tribeca