HOLLYWOOD —It would take an awful lot of lava to see all the movies that are available at this year’s prestigious, film festival that kicked off on April 21, and will run through Sunday, May 2. The ninth annual festival has 132 movies with 85 of them full-length features. This year’s Tribeca film festival features films for all tastes, from food films, art, comedies, thrillers, political to first-time directors that provoke the individual movie buff to explore not only the film itself, but the direction and company of the people behind the film.
The Tribeca film festival does not disappoint the movie fan or the professional film critic, even with movies spread out over 12 days, it will not leave you exhausted. In fact, they should add a few extra days so you can narrow your interests first. Truth be told, the festival, like a bottle of wine, gets better with every year. I have been covering the festival for many years; however, this year was outstanding. Some of the buzz-worthy films from Stargazing Picks:
“Shrek Forever After,” a big budget Hollywood movie, in which the big ogre finds himself stuck in a “It’s a Wonderful Life” Far Far Away alternative reality. David Lean’s 1965 epic “Doctor Zhivago” meticulously restored print starring Geraldine Chaplin and Omar Sharif, is and always will be a classic.Nicole Holofcener’s “Please Give,” starring Catherine Keener as a Manhattanite who is so worried about humanity that she overlooks the very human problems within her own family.
The Tribeca Film Festival has always focused on documentaries; it’s been a hallmark of the festival since the beginning in 2002, when the festival was established by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff. One of the romantic comedies to stand out in years is “Elvis & Madona,” a crowd pleaser set in beautiful Rio de Janeiro’s spellbinding neighborhood of Copacabana.
This year it launched its film distribution company, Tribeca Film, founded by the festival’s parent company, Tribeca Enterprises, in which a dozen films including “sex & drugs &rock &roll” was made available on TV via video- on-demand in some 40 million homes.That is why, the Tribeca film festival is a hallmark of diversity and substance, unlike the glamour of Cannes or the indies in Sundance or the Oscar buzz films in Toronto- Tribeca offers a grab bag of everything. “Earth Made of Glass,” a powerful film from the director Deborah Scranton of “The War Tapes” looks at the horrific 1994 genocide in Rwanda from two perspectives.
The film “Freakonomics,” by economist Steven D. Levitt and author Stephen J. Dubner, examines human behavior through the lens of statistics and incentives, rather than ethics and morals in a cinematic experience through a team of powerhouse directors, including Alex Gibney. The spotlight selections such as “Letters to Juliet, ”and “Shrek Forever After” among others will all be in theaters next month and this summer anyway, so the beauty of the festival is to explore the more offbeat foreign films and nonfiction selections.
Now for Hollywood it’s summer movie preview, a time to turn the next four months into a cinematic equivalent of a day at the beach, from the Memorial Day weekend of “Sex and the City 2,” to “Eat, Pray, Love,” starring Julia Roberts scheduled for release on August 13, and “Going the Distance,” starring Drew Barrymore as a journalist in a bicoastal romance with real-life on-again/off-again beau Justin Long on August 27.
Rose’s Scoop: Apparently, it’s not only the Hollywood celebrities that cheat. Swedish Royal Court says Princess Madeleine of Sweden has broken off her engagement with fiancÃ© Jonas Bergstrom, according to the Associated Press. Amid rumors linking him to another woman, the Princess was seen in New York headed for West Palm Beach, Florida on April 26, for a couple of days.