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Small town life is poignantly examined in the modest Tribeca drama “Abundant Acreage Available.” A humanist drama about family, faith, and grief, ‘Acreage’ is an intimate film with few outsized dramatic moments, but as anchored by Amy Ryan’s mannered yet commanding performance—her finest in years—this lovely little story sensitively absorbs. ‘Acreage’ begins with a makeshift funeral, a bereaved Tracy (Ryan), who’s taken care of her ailing father for years, attempts to bury the box of his ashes in the fields of her farm. Continue reading Amy Ryan Amplifies The Quiet ‘Abundant Acreage Available’ [Tribeca Review] at The Playlist.
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Christopher Abbott continues to glower his way through roles, all furrowed brow and electric intensity, but there’s no complaints here. It’s his onscreen magnetism that makes much of “Sweet Virginia” work, a simmering body of violence that lashes out in unexpected moments. A movie that forgoes solid storytelling for an atmosphere that keeps you captivated, director Jaime M. Dagg has made a film that plays with genres from neo-noir to thriller to even horror. Continue reading Christopher Abbott Steals The Show In The Intense Thriller ‘Sweet Virginia’ [Tribeca Review] at The Playlist.
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Given the artificiality of celebrity and Hollywood, the idea of a manufactured laugh track and canned applause is a pretty clever metaphor for the emptiness of fame. But a loose concept is not a movie if it’s not carefully drawn, pondered and conceived. And the promise of such a potentially nifty little idea isn’t so much squandered in the hapless Tribeca indie “The Clapper” as barely explored. Continue reading The Insipid ‘The Clapper,’ About Fame & Halfwits, Is Hopeless [Tribeca Review] at The Playlist.
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In “Blame,” the startlingly confident debut film by precocious 22 year-old triple threat writer/director/star Quinn Shephard, the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival receives its true breakout of the year, while also serving as a brutal reminder as to why you couldn’t pay me to be a teenager again. Abigail (Shephard) is returning to school after a year away following a very public breakdown. An easy target for bullies, especially mean girl Melissa (Nadia Alexander) Abigail finds reprieve after she’s cast in the leading role in the school production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible,” a feeling compounded on when she catches the attention of her teacher empathetic Jeremy (Chris Messina). Continue reading ‘Blame’: 22-Year-Old Filmmaker Quinn Shephard Becomes One To Watch With Her Startling Debut [Tribeca] at The Playlist.
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Despite a slightly silly premise and a script that plays it fast and loose with increasingly ridiculous scenarios, director Brian Crano‘s sincere and funny “Permission” manages to charm and impress thanks to the largely committed and above-average cast of Rebecca Hall and Dan Stevens. A comedy/drama hybrid that strongly resembles the underrated “Sleeping With Other People” in tone, “Permission” skillfully tackles this popular dram-com mixture while adding a relatively fresh spin on the genre. Continue reading Rebecca Hall & Dan Stevens Impress In The Charming ‘Permission’ [Tribeca Review] at The Playlist.
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How many times have you read that it’s really hard to duplicate the success of the first film in a sequel? Probably more than you can remember. Well, here’s a newsflash: “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2” pulls that feat off with only a little strain and a belly of genuine emotion. Marvel Studios’ space faring superhero-team-that-isn’t-really-a-superhero-team came together in 2014’s “Guardians of the Galaxy.” James Gunn, along with a screenplay assist from Nicole Sperling, wonderfully demonstrated how a band of characters that were barely known beyond hardcore comic book fans could transform into a band of charismatic and colorful characters that felt strikingly original. Continue reading ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ Is A Worthy, Surprisingly Emotional Follow-Up To A Superhero Classic [Review] at The Playlist.
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When was the last time you thought to yourself, “gee, I can’t wait for a Spike TV documentary?” It’s not that Spike isn’t good at… erm, what they do for their audience—cable channel programming for male adults—but let’s face it, their reality TV and sports programming (shows by Adam Carolla, Dave Navarro’s tattoo show and “Lip Sync Battle”), doesn’t actually scream captivating documentaries that make their debut at reasonably prestigious festivals like the Tribeca Film Festival. Continue reading The Stirring ‘I Am Heath Ledger’ Frames The World Through The Lens Of An Artist [Tribeca Review] at The Playlist.
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Flames” co-directors Josephine Decker and Zefrey Throwell have created something truly unique with their new docudrama, a word and genre that typically should be weighed heavily before being written as a descriptor. For good or for ill, depending on how gratuitously self-indulgent you find their filmed voyage of their passionate first months of uninterrupted love and inevitable disintegration, “Flames” is without a doubt unlike any other film released in recent memory. Continue reading Josephine Decker’s ‘Flames’ Captures The Burning Lights & Charred Embers Of Love [Tribeca Review] at The Playlist.
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To keep it indie 100 for a minute, and hopefully not sound too obscure, if indie filmmaker Alex Ross Perry was to Roman Polanski what his paranoiac feature “Queen Of Earth” was to Polanski’s “The Tenant,” then director Nathan Silver is to Rainer Werner Fassbinder what “Thirst Street” is to the German New Wave director’s “Lola. Continue reading Lindsay Burdge Sparkles In The Delicious Psycho Sexual Thriller ‘Thirst Street’ [Tribeca Review] at The Playlist.
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As a sort of litmus test, noted film critic Gene Siskel would ask of a film, “Is it more interesting than a documentary of the actors having lunch?” Michael Winterbottom’s trilogy of “The Trip”films effectively turn the question inside out, rendering the act of watching a pair of actors have lunch as something riotous, a touch melancholic, and yes, infinitely interesting. Limey comic virtuosos Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon have hit the road yet again, bringing their egos, insecurities, and fully-loaded arsenals of celebrity impressions with them. Continue reading ‘Trip To Spain’ Is Another Treat In The Delightful Food, Travel & Improv Franchise [Tribeca Review] at The Playlist.
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