Film-lovers are freaking out today as the Tribeca Film Festival kicks off in New York. This year promises plenty to talk about, from little-known international titles to intriguing documentary fare to mainstream crowd-pleasers. There are way too many interesting-looking films screening at the festival to touch on here, but I will highlight a few that make me feel the saddest about not being there this year.
2 Days in Paris
The elegant Julie Delpy does it all for this film, as the writer, director, editor, producer and star. The "snappy, comic" story follows Marion (Delpy) who brings her American boyfriend (Adam Goldberg) on his first visit to Paris. Culture clashy mishaps ensue.
Forget Alec Baldwin's indelicate dealings with his daughter for a moment and focus on how awesome he can be to watch on screen sometimes. Adapted from The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing, Suburban Girl follows Brett (Sarah Michelle Gellar), a young book editor who falls for an older man (Baldwin) with a history of being a playboy.
Several more if you
Hard As Nails
Unordained youth minister Justin Fatica preaches religion hard core to the MTV crowd by getting in their faces, doing physical challenges and yelling a lot in this unflinching documentary. If you'll pardon the pun, the trailer seriously scares the bejesus out of me.
Playing the Victim
The description for this Russian film is just plain intriguing: "In this black-humored Russian Hamlet by one of Moscow's top theater directors, a young slacker receives nocturnal visits from his father's ghost and literally 'plays the victim' in crime reconstruction videos."
The Third Monday in October
This documentary definitely takes the "awww..." award previously handed to films like Spellbound and Mad Hot Ballroom. Filmmaker Vanessa Roth follows four student council races in various middle schools across the country. Family issues, school pressures and hormones abound. To warm your heart a little, watch the trailer.
Autism: The Musical
Thankfully, this isn't a musical about autism, but rather a documentary that "follows five autistic children in Los Angeles as they write and rehearse their own full-length musical, tossing aside all stereotypes in the process."
This lighthearted story centers around John (Breckin Meyer) who puts out an ad through "Marry-a-Canadian," an organization that pairs up Canadians with frustrated liberals looking to break free from America's political rut following the 2004 election. Chloe (Anna Paquin) answers his ad and the two embark on an adventurous road trip.
The Man From the Embassy
This film's description brings to mind the kind of tender relationship that springs up between Leon and Mathilda in The Professional: "The empty existence of a German official living in Tbilisi, Georgia, brightens when he forms a tenuous friendship with a 12-year-old girl living in one of the city's refugee camps. But corruption, violence and accusations of pedophilia taint their growing bond, echoing post-Soviet Georgia's uneasy relationship with the West."
Hopefully nobody from Fox will watch this movie and get any bright ideas: A television network takes riskily airs a reality show in which everyday people play Russian Roulette with a loaded gun on live TV.