We've all dreamed of being rock stars: of being rich, famous, beloved by the world, allowed to be reckless, and free to travel the world. But imagine if that dream came true for your brother instead of you? The sibling rivalry would be almost surreal. But in the compelling documentary Mistaken for Strangers, it's just the reality of reluctant documentarian Tom Beringer, the screw-up little brother of Matt Beringer, lead singer of The National.
The Film Stage tipped us off to the film's latest trailer up top. Named for one of The National's songs, Mistaken for Strangers is a concert documentary unlike any you've seen before. It follows Tom as he tags along on the indie rock band's High Violet tour. While he likes to think of himself as an aspiring filmmaker and their official documentarian, this chubby younger brother is in fact a roadie, hired solely through nepotism. Its concept seems ripe for bitterness and the ugly truth of rock star life, but what's made Mistaken for Strangers such a standout is how honest and brilliantly funny it actually is.
I reviewed the doc last year when it opened the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival. Initially, I'd shied away from seeing it because--to be perfectly frank--I didn't know anything about the band The National. But good word of mouth won me over, and the movie swept me away. It is a concert doc, but from an outsider's perspective that makes it unique. Tom is not a member of The National, but his relationship with his brother makes him feel entitled to their experience. But as he watches his brother work hard at all the job of rock star entails, Tom is forced to face his own inadequacies. And finishing the doc he half-heartedly started becomes his crucible and chance for redemption.
Here's the film's earlier trailer, which gives a clearer background into The National, in case you need it.
And here's the band performing the title track live:
Last but not least, check out the film's new poster, courtesy of EW.
Mistaken for Strangers will hit VOD and theaters on March 28th.