So with Yet To Be Named Baby Lewis due to arrive in our apartment this September, my wife and I are trying to get as many fun, new, New York City experiences under our belts before our lives get turned upside down and we no longer have time for anything except diapers, formula, and not sleeping.
The TriBeca Film Festival is something we’d both always wanted to check out; started by Robert DeNiro about 15 years ago, it brings together an eclectic mix of indie films, bigger-budget flicks, and killer documentaries over a two-week span in a hip neighborhood in Manhattan.
After perusing the schedules of more than 50 movies and getting shut out of tickets for a few we really liked, we went out Monday night to see a new Toni Collette comedy/drama called “Lucky Them.”
It was a much different moviegoing experience than usual; first off, we had to wait on line outside for about 20 minutes just to get in, and there was a red carpet and some paparazzi around, taking pics of Collette, Oliver Platt and Thomas Hayden Church, three of the stars of the movie who were present for the screening, and did a short Q and A afterward (love Toni Collette, and happy to report she seemed nice in the Q and A).
The theater itself was enormous, an 1,100 seat auditorium that is usually used for college lecture classes (a dead giveaway was that attached to the arm of our seats were those mini-desks I hated so much in college), and it’s fun seeing a movie that way because at the funny parts, the laughter is so much louder than in a usual theater.
As for the flick itself, it was pretty good; it’s about Collette’s character Ellie, a grizzled Seattle rock journalist who tends to occasionally sleep with the musicians she writes about, and her search for a reclusive ex-musician named Matthew Smith, who was once her lover but suddenly stopped recording music a decade earlier, and basically dropped off the face of the Earth.
Church is an ex-boyfriend who tags along on the search and tries making a documentary about their adventure, and the always-stellar Oliver Platt is Ellie’s magazine editor.
I’d give it 2 1/2 stars; the beginning and ends were good, but there was a ridiculous storyline tangent halfway through that wasted 20 minutes and had no point.
Still, it was a very cool experience to go to the TriBeca Festival; if you’re ever in New York in mid-April, check it out. If you’re here now, here’s the schedule for the rest of the Festival.
**Next up today, I know I keep writing about these Jimmy Fallon/Brian Williams rap mash-up videos, but I swear every one of ’em cracke me up every time.
This one might be the best yet; can you imagine Peter Jennings or Dan Rather ever doing this? Love me some Brian Williams.
**And finally, the stories of Cuban baseball players risking their lives to defect to America for the chances of riches in the major leagues have been told for decades. But this Yasiel Puig story is something else... a brilliantly reported tale by Jesse Katz in L.A. Magazine, about just how dangerous, and how complicated, Puig’s life has been since he left Cuba.