Paul’s life is good. He has a gig teaching literature at Yale, and he just moved in with his longtime girlfriend Jen, finally shedding his casually sinister roommate, Nancy. There’s just one thing. Paul left an item of great importance at his old apartment, and Nancy doesn’t want to give it back.… Paul’s life is about to unravel.
This film intrigues me, plain and simple. The mind of a PhD student can be dark and deranged indeed (I should know). I was initially drawn this this film when it was on the film festival circuit, screening at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival I attended. However, I didn’t make the cut of what I ended up seeing. Now that this great trailer has been released and reviews for the film are really positive, my interest is peaked again. I will definitely seek it out. Nancy, Please ended a short theatrical run in NYC but is currently available on VOD, iTunes, and streaming services.
Yesterday, the Tribeca Film Festival made their first announcement of some of the films (46 to be exact) that have been selected for this year’s festival. These included 12 films in the World Narrative Competition, 12 films in World Documentary Competition, and 22 films in the out-of-competition Viewpoints section. Since I will be flying to NYC to attend the festival again this year (yay, me!), I of course took to the website as soon as I could to get a feel of what I will try and see while I’m there. Here are some of the ones that caught my attention and why I may end up seeing them. You may not be able to get to Tribeca, but as always, these are some of the movies with a great chance to make it to your nearest theater or to you by way of VOD in the next year or so:
Directed and written by David Riker
Synopsis: From the director of La Ciudad comes this moving drama about a single mother (Abbie Cornish) caught in emotional quicksand after losing her job and custody of her son. Desperate to earn cash for her custody battle, she makes the daring choice to help smuggle illegal immigrants over the border. A deep connection to a young Mexican girl will take her on a life-changing journey and force her to confront her past. Why I want to see it: I am usually drawn to films that explore cross-cultural experiences and overlap between the States at Latin America (i.e. Babel) simply because its interesting to see the manifestation of this on screen. And of course, Abbie Cornish is one of my favorite actress so I’m always excited to see whatever film project she is attached to.
Directed by Andrew Semans, written by Will Heinrich and Andrew Semans
Synopsis: Paul’s life is good. He has a gig teaching literature at Yale, and he just moved in with his longtime girlfriend (Rebecca Lawrence), finally shedding his casually sinister roommate, Nancy. There’s just one thing. Paul left an item of great importance at his old apartment, and Nancy doesn’t want to give it back.… Paul’s life is about to unravel. Debuting director Andrew Semans skillfully orchestrates a minor annoyance into an all-consuming obsession in this smart, stunning psychodrama. Why I want to see it: It intrigues me, plain and simple. What makes Nancy so sinister? And how exactly does his life unravel? Psychodramas are always alot of fun…
While We Were Here
Directed and written by Kat Coiro
Synopsis: Jane (Kate Bosworth) and her English husband travel to Naples hoping to reinvigorate their silently disintegrating marriage and escape a personal tragedy that hangs heavily between them. When Jane, facing writer’s block, takes a day trip to a beautiful island off the coast, she meets a young American man living a hermetic life on the island. As the two embark on an unlikely emotional affair, Jane faces some drastic changes in her life. Why I want to see it: If it is done right, it could be really good. Usually films like these in which we as the audience are brought into a struggling marriage are character studies where we get to explore the motivations of those involved and reflect on where our own beliefs/morals.
Caroline and Jackie
Directed and written by Adam Christian Clark
Synopsis: When Caroline throws a surprise birthday party for her sister Jackie, what starts as an evening with friends devolves into a night that will change everything, as their bond is tested by the emotional mayhem only sisters can wring. Injecting his dinner-party-gone-wrong story with genuine tension, first-time filmmaker Adam Christian Clark strips away the layers of Caroline and Jackie’s fraught relationship right up until the film’s raw and moving conclusion. Why I want to see it: It makes me want to know more and understand the relationship between all of those involved. My favorite movies are those that take place in a short span of time, one central location, with a small cast, and focuses very heavy on dialogue and character development (i.e. Before Sunset/Before Sunrise, Tape, Buried, Unknown). The joy in watching them is to peel back to layers on the characters and the situation which can build to some great suspense and take you on a real emotional journey. I think it’s those films that are the hardest to pull off but end up being amazing if they are.
Directed and written by Tom O’Brien
Synopsis: Jon is well past his glory days on the football field and searching for meaning in the small town of Fairhaven. When his friend Dave (Chris Messina) comes home for his father’s funeral, the limits of friendship are tested as the past is uncovered. This thoughtful meditation on love, loss, and minor triumphs reminds us that sometimes the most important things in life are the little moments we cherish forever. Why I want to see it: I get the whole bromance vibe from this film. Male friendships are something that I think are great to watch onscreen since I think the depths of them are not often witnessed by us women. The presence of Chris Messina doesn’t hurt either.
Francophrenia (or: Don’t Kill Me, I Know Where the Baby Is)
Directed by Ian Olds and James Franco, written by Ian Olds and Paul Felten
Synopsis: James Franco stunned the film world when he committed to a regular gig on General Hospital, but the Oscar®-nominated actor had a clever trick up his sleeve. While shooting a key GH episode, Franco brought along a film crew. TFF award winner Ian Olds (Fixer, 2009) then repurposed Franco’s behind-the-scenes footage into an experimental psychological thriller set amid the spectacle of a celebrity’s escalating paranoia, creating a mind-bending exploration of identity. Why I want to see it: That James Franco. What can I say? I always wondered about his sudden interest in doing a soap opera at the height of his career. This latest project is so weird and awesome and twisted (like his is) that I think it just may be great. So the moral of this story is to never sleep on James Franco; he has some sort of overall master plan that supersedes our comprehension.
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