Citizens may call today tax-day everywhere else in the United States, but here in NYC we call today the start of the Tribeca Film Festival. Tonight is the official opening of the popular annual event, starting with the premiere of the Saturday Night Live documentary, ‘Live From New York!.’
There are wonderful events lined-up this week, including an opening show from Ludacris later tonight, as well as panels with Brad Bird, George Lucas, Cary Fukanaga and Ava DuVernay. Musical guests include Mary J. Blige and Tony Bennett; the cast of Goodfellas is in town to reunite and talk about the 25th anniversary of the film, and of course all of the world premieres.
This year there are several films on my radar, and I can safely assume that you will be hearing a lot about a select few over the next few weeks. Whether or not the jury (34 people make up the group) offer awards to these exact films I can’t say, but they are the most likely candidates to see a major release, and should be on everyone’s radar looking to enjoy the festival from afar. On that jury are Gloria Steinem, Cobie Smulders, Steve Buscemi, Dylan McDermott, Andre Holland, Minnie Driver, David Gelb, Sheila Nevins, Debi Mazar, Burr Steers, Mamie Gummer and Mark Boal, just to name a few. So let’s get to which films everyone should see this week.
When I Live My Life Over Again
Director: Robert Edwards
Writer: Robert Edwards
Stars: Christopher Walken, Amber Heard, Kelli Garner
After one too many big city problems, Jude (Amber Heard) heads to the home of her father (Christopher Walken), an over-the-hill crooner desperately charting his musical comeback. She soon recalls that spending time at home with her father presents its own particular set of challenges.
Director: Ben Palmer
Writer: Tess Morris
Stars: Lake Bell, Simon Pegg, Ophelia Lovibond
A romantic-comedy starring Simon Pegg is an easy pick for a nationwide release. In the film Pegg is co-starring with Lake Bell, the film follows the couple about London after Pegg’s character mistakenly assumes the wrong girl is his intended blind-date.
The Adderall Diaries
Director: Pamela Romanowsky
Writers: Stephen Elliott (memoir), Pamela Romanowsky (screenplay)
Stars: Amber Heard, James Franco, Christian Slater
Three giant-names in film make up the cast of this film-adaptation, making it one of the most highly-anticipated films at Tribeca this week. The film itself is based on the bestselling memoir by Stephen Elliot released back in 2009. The story follows the author (played by James Franco) while he suffers with writers block and during his spiralling battle with drug dependency.
Director: Tim Blake Nelson
Writer: Tim Blake Nelson
Stars: David Aaron Baker, Derrick Baskin, Jacqueline Baum, Kristen Stewart
Tim Blake-Nelson both wrote and directed this highly-anticipated drama, following multiple storylines as they intersect in the aftermath of the violent mugging of a Columbia University philosophy professor.
Director: Henry Hobson
Writer: John Scott
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin, Joely Richardson
This marks Henry Hobson’s feature directing-debut, and it will either be a terrific hit, or a zombie disaster. In the film a teenage girl in the Midwest becomes infected by an outbreak of a disease that slowly turns the infected into cannibalistic zombies. During her transformation, her loving father stays by her side, even as her condition worsens with hopes for a cure. You may wonder why there are six films listed in this article, and the title said five. This is why, it’s a long-shot in the race, but it may be the standout of the week.
Director: Sean Mewshaw
Writers: Sean Mewshaw (story), Desiree Van Til (screenplay)
Stars: Dianna Agron, Rebecca Hall, Jason Sudeikis
Mewshaw directed this romantic-comedy, following a young woman who continues to struggle after losing her husband. It’s when a New York writer enters her life to discuss her former husband, who was a popular folk-singer, that the woman finally starts to come to terms with loss and can start to move on.