This weekend marks the beginning of this year's Tribeca Film Festival, which brings film lovers from all over to the cavernous streets of downtown Manhattan, and sends your trusty Cinema Blend correspondents running all over creation to cover it. Eric Eisenberg, Perri Nemiroff and myself will be covering Tribeca over the next ten days, seeing all kinds of indie films, doing all kinds of interviews, and trying to sleep once in a while in the meantime.
We've already started seeing some of the films from this year's festival, and below we've got a list of 20 films that we either know are worth your time or are anxious to see yourself. Keeping checking Cinema Blend daily for new reviews and interviews from the festival, and if you're there too, let us know in the comments!
Climate of Change
More than just a "woe-is-us" screed about all the destruction we humans are wreaking on the earth, Climate of Change looks like a hopeful, human take on global warming, showcases efforts all around the world of everyday people trying to save the planet. Plus, it's narrated by Tilda Swinton, and we'd listen to her read the phone book.
Disappearance of Alice Creed
A kidnapping thriller set in just two rooms, featuring in its cast Gemma Arterton, the pretty girl from Quantum of Solace finally given a chance to actually act, and Eddie Marsan, the angry driving instructor from Happy-Go-Lucky who can act circles around probably anyone. This directorial debut by J Blakeson is already garnering great pre-festival buzz.
New York Magazine already beat us to recommend this one, given that they've actually already seen it, but the notion of a doc that takes on the complicated but hugely important political game of chicken that is gerrymandering sounds pretty fascinating. Maybe documentarian Jeff Reichert can start beating Tribeca superstar Alex Gibney at his own game.
Bill Murray, Sissy Spacek, and Robert Duvall in a performance many are already arguing could garner him an Oscar nomination. This film has been making the festival circuit for a while now, but this is the time to see it in New York.
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
Love her or hate her, you have to admit that Joan River is a unique and important figure in American pop culture, and this documentary is apparently pretty frank about Rivers good and bad. It debuted at Sundance to positive reviews, and we're excited to catch it on our home turf.
Last Play at Shea
Just before the beloved Shea Stadium, home of the New York Mets, was abandoned in favor of the glossier Citifield next door, Billy Joel played one last concert in the first arena to ever host the Beatles. What better film to play Tribeca than a New York tribute like this one?
Meet Monica Velour
Sex and the City's Kim Cattrall as a washed-up 80s porn star. What can we say, we love a good acting gimmick.
The new film from Amelie director Jean-Pierre Jeuenet is just as quirky and warm-hearted, but also carries a political undertone and a pretty moving anti-arms message. Come for the wild characters, stay for the important message.
It's simple-- we'll catch Chris Messina (recently of Julie & Julia and Greenberg) doing pretty much anything. Parks & Recreation's Rashida Jones is an added bonus.
Ostensibly it's a road trip movie about three brothers squabbling and trying not to die in a broken-down bread van, but it's also a touching story about growing up and coping with family tragedy-- one that includes an 11-year-old singing "I am the champion farter!" Trust us, it's worth it.
My Trip to Al-Qaeda
One of two films by documentarian Alex Gibney at this year's festival, this one is actually a document of a one-man play. It's already been snapped up by HBO for broadcast, but we like seeing things before anyone else, so we'll be there.
You could call it "the Colin Farrell mermaid movie," but it's also a touching story about father-daughter relationships, learning to let go of the past, and the spectacular beauty of the Irish coastline that everyone there seems to take for granted. Farrell's not so bad in it either.
What could be better than a funny and warm-hearted, pure New York story that stars the likes of Catherine Keener, Oliver Platt and Rebecca Hall? Nothing, that's what.
Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage
Rush superfans will be the likeliest people to check this out, but even those of us who know nothing beyond that concert scene in I Love You Man are likely to come away charmed by this cuddly, totally geeky Canadian rock trio. Being a ock star has never looked so fun.
sex & drugs & rock & roll
Andy Serkis-- a.k.a. Gollum-- has already earned a BAFTA nomination for his performance in this film. Come see what he's got to offer beyond "My precioussssss."
Sons of Perdition
A depressing documentary, but one that's particularly timely given the scandals that surround Warren Jeffs and his polygamist community-- the story of the boys exiled from their communities seems like it has potential for truly heartbreaking stuff on film.
A comedy! At a film festival! And one directed by Fatih Akin of The Edge of Heaven Head On, so you know it might actually be good! What more could a tired festivalgoer want?
Ticked-off Trannies With Knives
The deliberately provocative title has already rounded up some controversy, but we're optimistic about the potential of this new-era exploitation film based on the actual beatings of transgendered people nationwide.
Untitled Eliot Spitzer Documentary
It's the hottest ticket at the festival, and we don't even know if we'll get to see it, but a new movie from Taxi to the Dark Side director Alex Gibney about disgraced former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer automatically makes the must-see list. The first clip released from the film was intriguing, and we can't wait to see more.
Can't get enough of everyday people dressing in ridiculous costumes after Kick-Ass. Good, because here comes Zonad, a comedy directed, somehow, by the guy behind Once. It looks just bizarre enough to be great.
Follow along with all of our special, Tribeca 2010 coverage right here.
Staff Writer at CinemaBlend
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