Thursday, June 13, 2024

Previewing The 2024 Tribeca Festival

The 2024 Tribeca Festival kicks off this week, and Lower Manhattan will be flooded with avid film fans eager to see the latest in indie filmmaking. This marks the 23rd year in the festival’s history, and it’s aiming to be its biggest one yet. With a record number of submissions, this year’s lineup contains over a hundred films from filmmakers from more than 40 countries. Films starring the likes of Kristen Stewart, Steve Buscemi, and Naomie Harris make up – at least, on paper – what is maybe one of the more intriguing lineups Tribeca has had in recent memory. Let’s take a look at some of the most anticipated films coming to this year’s Tribeca Festival.

Jeffery Reiner, who has recently been known for directing television (“The Affair” and “Fargo”), returns to film with his new feature “Lake George.” Equal parts neo-noir and buddy comedy, “Lake George,” pits mob-hired affiliate Don (played by Shea Whigam) and his target Phyllis (Carrie Coon) on the same side after Don is unable to kill her. Together, the unusual pair scheme their way to what seems like a fool’s errand, but, to them, it’s a mission to get what they feel they ultimately deserve. Whigham and Coon are two exciting and, honestly, underrated character actors getting a moment to shine together. It seems like “Lake George” might be a breezy crime caper we could all use right now.Michael Angarano’s “Sacramento” may contain one of the most star-studded ensembles at this year’s Tribeca Festival. Kristen Stewart, Michael Cera, Maya Eskrine, and Argarano himself are starring in an adult coming-of-age comedy that follows two friends navigating their friendship while being in completely different phases in life. “Sacramento” sounds like a heartfelt dramedy that will surely win audiences over. And, with that caliber of talent involved, who wouldn’t want to check this one out?

Christine Jeffs’s new film “A Mistake” sounds like a rousing medical drama that could be a crowd-pleasing hit of the festival. The film stars Elizabeth Banks as an expert surgeon whose costly decision leads to a series of events she never expected to unfold. With “A Mistake,” Jeffs may have crafted a tense character study set in one of the most captivating workplaces constantly depicted on film and television. We are also overdue for another great performance from Banks, and hopefully, she’ll get that moment with this film.

Bang Bang” is one of the more intriguing films at this year’s festival. It follows the story of a washed-up boxer (played by Tim Blake Nelson) whose frustration with his current life only builds as he now becomes in charge of taking care of his estranged daughter’s teenage son. Vincent Grashaw’s “Bang Bang” is one of many films at Tribeca this year, and it is giving the spotlight to one of Hollywood’s underrated character actors. Seeing an actor of Nelson’s caliber take center stage in this grungy and authentic drama will be the highlight for many attending the festival. Let’s hope that Nelson is given a film worthy of his talents.

On paper, Icelandic filmmaker Thordur Palsson’s “The Damned” has everything going for it. The film, which takes place in the 19th century, sounds like a haunting drama about one town’s battle over their morality and the will to survive once they are plagued with an impossible decision. “The Damned” marks Palsson’s directorial debut and is sure to be an enveloping drama with a dreadful atmosphere. If you grew up in the 80’s, you most likely knew the young stars of Hollywood known as the Brat Pack. Andrew McCarthy, Emilio Estevez, Jon Cryer, Lea Thompson, Rob Lowe, Ally Sheedy, and Demi Moore all rose to the top of the industry as the world slapped them with a nickname forever associated with them, for better or for worse. With the documentary “Brats,” Pack member McCarthy has taken his experience with this undesired pressure and explored this era of his life. He also reunites with some of his closest friends and other Brat Pack members forty years later, while “Brats” aims to explore how the industry often exploits young actors and how they all coped with this unnecessary pressure as their careers (and lives) continued. “Brats” seems to be an honest examination of how fame affects those who are too young today to be prepared for it.

Another celebrity documentary playing at Tribeca will be Susanne Rostock’s “Following Harry.” The film follows the life of the legendary civil rights icon Harry Belafonte and his continued activism until his death in 2023. It’s an intimate portrait of a man whose work has helped forever change this country for the better. The documentary contains interviews from those closest to him and artist-activists such as Jesse Williams and Aja Monet.

Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall” is the directorial debut of filmmaker Tiffany Paulson. The film, a searing romantic drama spanning seasons, features star-on-the-rise Jenna Ortega and Percy Hynes White. “Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall” could fill the hole in any moviegoer’s heart searching for the next young adult-eque romance to become obsessed with. Who doesn’t love a nice film that gives you a good cry?

If you’re looking for thrills, then Mike Ott’s biopic “McVeigh” could be what you’re seeking. Alfie Allen stars as Timothy McVeigh, the man who became known as the perpetrator of the Oklahoma City bombing. “McVeigh” appears to be a character study of a man who, on the outside, seems to be a completely functional member of society while internally concocting something genuinely sinister. This is one of the more curious titles at the festival, especially to learn how they approach the weighty subject matter.

Guillem Morales’s “The Wasp” automatically enters this list, since Academy Award nominee Naomie Harris and “Game of Thrones‘” Natalie Dormer are the film’s two leads. The film has been described as a psychological drama putting two friends into a dangerous position that will slowly alter their lives in ways they would never expect. It sounds like Morales may have crafted a film that will keep us on the edge of our seats.Jeremy O. Harris’ documentary “Slave Play. Not A Movie. A Play” seems to be a fascinating experiment. This film feels like the playwright’s rejection of adapting his Tony-nominated Broadway hit “Slave Play” into a feature adaptation and, instead, evolving it differently. Harris goes behind the development of “Slave Play,” deconstructing his artistic inspirations, and in the end, makes what could be the perfect companion piece to one of the most celebrated plays in Broadway history.

Rounding out the list with one of the most interesting-sounding titles is “The Shallow Tale of a Writer Who Decided To Write About A Serial Killer.” Tolga Karacelik’s dark comedy is anchored by three heavyweight talents: Steve Buscemi, John Magaro, and Britt Lower and promises to be a fun time.

With recent additions to the festival that includes special screenings for “A Quiet Place: Day One,” “Despicable Me 4,” the acclaimed Berlin Film Festival title “La Cocina,” the Cannes Film Festival documentary “Elizabeth Taylor: The Lost Tapes,” and more, this year’s Tribeca Festival is shaping up to be one of the most memorable in recent history. What do you think of this year’s Tribeca Festival lineup? Is there any film we didn’t mention that you are excited about? Stay tuned for coverage from the Next Best Picture team over the coming days. Please let us know in the comments section below or on Next Best Picture’s Twitter account.

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Giovanni Lago
Giovanni Lago
Devoted believer in all things cinema and television. Awards Season obsessive and aspiring filmmaker.

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