The Tribeca Film Festival kicks off with Shrek Forever After on April 21, but there’s far more to the event than just a farting 3-D troll. Running through May 2 (and closing with the documentary Freakonomics), the fest will feature 92 documentaries and features; here are fifteen films we recommend you see. Tickets are on sale now at tribecafilm.com.
The director of Murderball makes his narrative debut with a couldn’t-be-more-timely riff on monogamy and adultery. The New York drama stars Rashida Jones as the fiancée of a man, played by Chris Messina, who gets paid by clients to stalk them and take paparazzi-style photographs. When one client turns out to be a sexy exhibitionist, he becomes obsessed, triggering a suspenseful voyeuristic chase that endangers his marriage.
A buoyant Italian family comedy about a gay man forced to hide his sexuality while running his domineering, ailing father’s pasta factory. It’s the sort of emotionally resonant and generous film Hollywood has apparently forgotten how to make.
At Sundance, we said this controversial adaptation of the Jim Thompson novel was the “worst date film ever made” — and that it played like Antichrist meets Precious meets No Country for Old Men. Here’s how it breaks down: Like No Country, it’s set in Texas and follows a blank-faced homicidal sociopath (Casey Affleck); the graphic violence inflicted on Kate Hudson and Jessica Alba is as revolting as anything in Lars von Trier’s Antichrist; and, like Gabourey Sidibe’s character in Precious, the murderer was molested by his own family, spurring on his crazy behavior.
Part of the ESPN Films sidebar, this is a fast-paced, high-kicking look at the golden age of narco-soccer in Colombia, when soccer star Andrés Escobar was the face of the national team and drug kingpin Pablo Escobar was the unseen hand guiding it.
Actor James Franco’s career takes another curious detour with this experimental noir by his NYU professor Anania. Franco plays an enigma wrapped in mysterious suits who edits trippy nature videos by day and mingles with crooks by night. Franco-philes can also catch Saturday Night, a documentary about SNL directed by the actor.
In this devastating experimental riff on the life, death, and abiding influence of blue-collar British playwright Andrea Dunbar, director Clio Barnard employs actors to stage and lip-synch audio from two years of interviews with her family and associates, set in the poor neighborhood where Dunbar grew up. Dunbar’s own plays were filled with fights, tragedy, and chaos — but were nothing compared to the real story lived by the daughter she left behind.