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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What to See at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival

Courtesy TFF

By Joshua Handler

This year's Tribeca Film Festival begins this Thursday, April 17 and ends April 27.  As with just about any film festival, the selection is a mixed bag.  I have seen 19 films, roughly about half of which have been good to great.  So, to save you from the horrible movies, I will tell you what I consider to be worth the ticket price.  I will say that I haven't seen Love is Strange, Gabriel, Land Ho!, Art and Craft, and a few others that I have heard are excellent.

The Best:

VENUS IN FUR (Dir. Roman Polanski) - Venus in Fur is Roman Polanski's film adaptation of David Ives' twisted play about an actress who does everything she can to convince a director that she's right for the lead role in his new play.  Emmanuelle Seigner and Mathieu Amalric star and they and Polanski are all in top form.  Venus in Fur is a funny, racy, dark drama that I believe to be the best of the fest.  The film hits theaters on June 20.

STARRED UP (Dir. David Mackenzie) - David Mackenzie's prison drama Starred Up has already garnered an enormous amount of critical acclaim and deserves all of it.  The film stars Jack O'Connell and Ben Mendelsohn and tells the story of a young man who's put in the same maximum security prison as his father.  Gritty, intense, violent, profane, and moving, Starred Up is a great piece of work and, like Venus in Fur, features two outstanding lead performances.  The film will be released theatrically in August.

FISHTAIL (Dir. Andrew Renzi) - This film is embargoed, but let me say that this is a work of jaw-dropping beauty and poetry.  Fishtail is a documentary that shows life on a Montana cattle ranch during calving season.  At 60 minutes, it's the perfect length and Harry Dean Stanton's poetry readings are beautiful.  Full review to be published soon.

THE ONE I LOVE (Dir. Charlie McDowell) - This film is also embargoed so my thoughts will be brief.  The One I Love premiered to great acclaim at Sundance and requires you to know next to nothing about it when going in.  The most basic synopsis won't do the film justice, but I'll give one anyway.  The One I Love stars Mark Duplass and Elizabeth Moss and tells the story of a couple whose marriage is on the rocks.  Their therapist tells them to go out to a vacation spot, and when they get there something very interesting happens.  This sounds like every other marriage comedy, but trust me, after viewing for 20 minutes, you'll see that its not.  It's smart, funny, honest, and very clever.

Worth the ticket price:

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