Michael Fassbender and “Slow West”: Films to look forward to at the Tribeca Film Festival

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As you read this, the Tribeca Film Festival will be getting fully underway with Press and Industry Screenings of all their titles. Each year, they offer up something very unique in the world of independent cinema. I’ll be taking in some films at the fest and have seen a handful already, so the choices below are sometimes more than just educated guesses. Tribeca is a unique environment, offering up smaller flicks of all ilk, so there’s the possibility of discovering something new and exciting at all times. Still, what you’ll see below are some of the most interesting higher profile titles that are screening.

Here are ten films playing at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival to keep an eye on…

10. Good Kill – A new Ethan Hawke collaboration with filmmaker Andrew Niccol, this is a look at the toll that working a drone can take on a man. It played at the Sundance Film Festival a few months ago to a muted response, but I’m always down for Hawke working with Niccol. I’ll definitely have more to say about this one once I see it.

9. Anesthesia – An ensemble piece from actor/filmmaker Tim Blake Nelson, there’s a great cast for this tale of the effect a crime has on all those who were around for it. The premise doesn’t instill a ton of enthusiasm, I know, but Nelson is an interesting triple threat and this could overcome the “indie ensemble drama about crime” trappings.

8. Misery Loves Comedy – I’ve seen this comedic documentary by Kevin Pollak about if stand ups need to be downers in order to be funny, and it’s very solid. To be fair, it’s not going to cure cancer or really make a difference in the world, but it’s an amusing doc that goes down easy. Especially if you’re a fan of stand up comedy, this is a look inside their world and 100% worth seeing.

7. Dirty Weekend – By and large, Neil LaBute is a filmmaker whose work always demands your attention. His latest dark comedy stars Matthew Broderick and seems like a slighter than usual plot, but that might be deceiving. LaBute is enough to hook me, and if you’re into his particular cinematic voice, this will be one to really look forward to.

6. Mojave – Anything with Oscar Isaac is worth seeing, but this one seems to really give him a strong showcase. Oscar winning scribe William Monaghan directs (he won Best Adapted Screenplay for The Departed), so there’s a bit of prestige here. If it turns out to be particularly good, perhaps Isaac can once again be an awards player?

5. The Driftless Area – The cast here is full of some of my favorite younger actors/actresses, including Zooey Deschanel and Anton Yelchin, so it’s got my attention. The film sounds like it’ll be a hard one to just pin down into one genre, so that’s a plus in my book as well. Keep an eye out for this one…

4. Grandma – At Sundance, a bit of Oscar buzz started at the fest for Lily Tomlin’s performance in this dramedy. I haven’t seen it yet, but those who have all seem to be fans of her work. I’d be down for Tomlin being a contender later on this year, though we’re clearly getting ahead of ourselves.

3. Sleeping with Other People – A potential breakout comedy from filmmaker Leslye Headland, this stars Alison Brie and Jason Sudeikis. It got strong word out of Sundance, saying the rom com trappings are subverted slightly and that both stars are quite good, so this is one of the films at Tribeca that I’m most looking forward to seeing, without question.

2. Maggie – Arnold Schwarzenegger in a zombie drama? Count me in. The former Governor of California stars as a father trying to protect his daughter, played by Abigail Breslin, as she turns into a member of the undead. The Trailer we’ve all seen was pretty strong, so I’m all set to hopefully enjoy this one at Tribeca in a big way.

1. Slow West – The other big title that I’ve seen is this wonderful and offbeat western. It stars Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Ben Mendelsohn, all of whom are quite good. There’s an undercurrent of humor that mixes with tragedy here to form one of the best things I’ve seen in all of 2015. I’ll have much more to say about this one soon, but it’s the highlight of Tribeca in my book.

Stay tuned to see how Tribeca winds up being this year!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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