Tuesday
May072019

TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL 2019: OUR TOP TEN PICKS

BY MATEO MORENO

The 2019 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL had an amazing lineup this year, and we were lucky enough to be there for every step! Below, we've compiled our own TOP TEN list from this years Festival. Keep checking back here for full reviews of all of the below films and many more throughout the week. 

 

10) LOW TIDE - Eerie and moody, first time filmmaker Kevin McMullin has crafted a wonderful throwback film, one that feels like it could have been made 20 years ago or yesterday. In other words: timeless. LOW TIDE is part coming-of-age, part treasure hunt and shows true promise from this rookie of the screen. The film follows three teens in a summer lake vacationing town in New Jersey who spend each night breaking into Summer homes and grabbing all the loot they can get without getting caught. But when one of the teens Alan finds a real bag of treasure: a bag of gold coins. From that point on, the curse of the treasure follows them and the film jumps between a style that seems mixed with THE GOONIES and a suspenseful coming-of-age tale. The main cast of Keean Johnson, Jaeden Martel, Alex Neustaedter, and Daniel Zolghadri are all fantastic here and the cinematography by Andre Ellmaker is stunning. A wild Summer on the shore for sure.

 

9) WILD ROSE - The spectacular Jessie Buckley radiates on the screen as Rose-Lynn Harlan, a down and out singer in Glasgow who's just been released from Prison. She has two children that she doesn’t know what to do with and a Mother who resents her lack of responsibility for her family. But she also has a voice that is screaming to be heard, and a dream of heading to Nashville to make it big. And her employer Susannah (Sophie Okonedo) plans to help her make it there. Director Tom Harper and Screenwriter Nicole Taylor create a vivid, wild ride of a musical that is supported by a fantastic cast. The story is beautiful and heartbreaking and Buckley is a true star. You'll cheer for her and then download the soundtrack when you get home (which, by the way, is available now).

 

8) THE PLACE OF NO WORDS - The question, "Where do we go when we die" is innocent enough, and in Mark Webber's film THE PLACE OF NO WORDS it comes from his son Bodi Palmer's mouth. What Bodi doesn't know is that his father is dying, and doesn't know how to break it to his precocious son. So he takes him on an imaginary, fantastical journey of escapism, where they are two sword and shield wielding knights running into trolls, fairies and witches along the way. The dialogue seems almost improvised and off the cuff, but brimming with power, and there's a reason for that. Writer/Director/Star Webber cast his real life wife Teresa Palmer and his real life son Brodie as his family here, and in less qualified hands it could end up being a self-indulgent mess. But here it works beautifully if you let it wash over you. It's not an easy sit and constantly challenges you but it's well worth it. And at 95 minutes, it never overstays it's welcome. Beautiful and poetic, it's a visually stunning (thanks to cinematographer Patric Lucien Cochet) and wonderfully original film.

 

7) STANDING UP, FALLING DOWN - This earnest and honest film wears its heart on its sleeve, but that's not a bad thing. It's a buddy comedy with an unlikely duo: Ben Schwartz and Billy Crystal. Schwartz plays Scott, a stand-up comedian who is forced to move back home and back in with his parents. His Mother is thrilled; his father is less so. Immediately he hopes to strike up a connection with Becky, the girl he left behind (Eloise Mumford). But what he didn't see coming is the thing that ends up affecting him the most: an unlikely connection and friendship with his dermatologist Marty (Crystal). Marty is also a barfly who's hard partying ways have left a rift between him and his family, but he immediately bonds to the younger Marty, seeing both a son-like figure and a friend. They need each other and just the exact right time in their lives. Schwartz turns in a charming and gentle lead performance, while Crystal knows just how to play the charming boozer; he never overplays a scene, hitting all the right cords. The supporting cast is all perfectly cast, from the sarcastic snips of Grace Gummer, the heartfelt beats by Eloise Mumford and Caitlin McGee and the riled up pain of Nate Corddry's left behind son. STANDING UP, FALLING DOWN is warm, personal, and touching. It's an old fashioned tale that feels just right, right now.

 

6) PLUS ONE - Truly the most winning romantic comedy I've seen in quite a while, PLUS ONE is incredibly funny and heartfelt film, anchored with two of the most winning leads in years: Jack Quaid and Maya Erskine. Brought to us by two of the writers of Erskine's Hulu series PEN15, the plot follows Ben and Alice (Quaid, Erskine), two college friends who have entered "Wedding season," and they have friend after friend getting married. So they decided to team up and be each other’s plus ones. Sure, we as the audience can immediately see that they are perfect for each other, but of course they don't. And though that set up is a typical rom-com troupe, the twists and turns are unexpected and the dialogue is naturally hilarious. Both Quaid and Erskine have fantastic chemistry, and if you're a PEN15 fan, you'll be happy to know that there is indeed a very funny cameo by Anna Konkle. This is one wedding season that you will definitely want to be a part of.

 

5) SWALLOW - The act of swallowing dangerous items such as batteries, tacks, and marbles is something that baffles most people. But it is a real disorder and one that ends up enveloping Hunter (Haley Bennett) a young pregnant trophy wife at the center of SWALLOW. Her husband (Austin Stowell) is on the rise at his father's company and she is the stay at home perfect image of a housewife. But deep down she knows she doesn't want this life and feels trapped. She wants to regain a sense of control and strangely it all begins when she has a sudden impulse to swallow a small marble. When she's able to recover it a couple of days later, she begins to swallow more and more things, leading to darker and darker consequences. Carlo Mirabella-Davis's slow burning drama is a film that you can't put in any particular box, and that's exactly what he wants. You can't fully describe it: You simply have to see it. Haley Bennett turns in a stunning and powerful performance that simply won't leave your mind anytime soon, nor will the images that occur, even if you want them to.

 

4) AT THE HEART OF GOLD - Dr. Larry Nasser is a monster, and he was a monster in sheep's clothing. He preyed upon the innocence and trust of young girls with Olympic dreams. For literal decades, Nasser sexually assaulted at least 250 young girls and at least 1 boy and it wasn't until 2016 that he was finally outed, after decades of abusing young children. Erin Lee Carr's powerful and infuriating documentary chronicles the entire tale of bringing him to justice, showcasing the brave women who stood up and refused to be quiet, and the corrupt organization of USA Gymnastics that sheltered and protected him. It is a terribly upsetting watch, one that made me well up with tears just as many times as my fists clinched with anger. But it's an important story to tell, and one that proves we still have a long way to go in protecting our children from the monster next door.

 

3) LUCE - Racial stereotypes are at the forefront of Director Julius Onah's feature LUCE, and it crackles with intensity and suspense. A fantastic Kevin Harrison Jr. plays Luce, a top of his class high school honors student. His past is filled with horror: he was a child soldier in Eritrea and was rescued and adopted from that world by a loving set of adoptive parents, played to perfection by Naomi Watts and Tim Roth. Luce knows that he's fortunate, but he's also claustrophobic: he has to live in a box of perfection, never stepping outside of those lines. His parents, his school, and his teachers all expect it and he knows it. He's not judged the same as his other black schoolmates, who are often labeled as delinquents. And his unraveling makes this drama turn into a searing thriller that is as mysterious as it is powerful. Octavia Spencer also turns in a subtle performance as a demanding teacher who may have overstepped her bounds with Luce. Revealing any more about the film would run the wonderful surprise of it all and I won't do that here. But know that LUCE is one of the most surprising and powerful films you'll see this year.

 

2) SEE YOU YESTERDAY - Not every time traveling adventure needs a DeLoreon or one single Infinity Stone. Sometimes you just need two ingenious kids with a passion for science and adventure mixed with a story of strong social commentary. In Stefon Bristol's thrillingly original feature film debut, produced by Spike Lee, Eden Duncan-Smith and Danté Crichlow are both fantastic as CJ and Sebastian, the two teens who are ready to set their future aflame with their invention. But what starts with their first trip aimed at a fun trip back in time molds into them coming back into a present where CJ's brother Calvin (a strong Brian "Stro" Bradley) is mistaken for another and shot dead by Police. The family is in mourning, but CJ has another plan: they go back in time to stop her brother from being shot. And thus begins their journey to save Calvin. Mixing social commentary with sci-fi works stunningly well here, and the film mixes both a fun tone and a powerful dramatic one. Director and co-writer Stefon Bristol expanded his short film into this remarkably well, and the result is a powerful meditation on love, loss, and time travel. Complete with a splendid cameo from everyone's favorite time traveler himself.

 

1) BUFFALLOED - To say that Zoey Deutch's star turn in BUFFALLOED is a star making turn is truly putting it mildly. Deutch is an amazing force of nature in Director Tanya Wexler's crime spree comedy, and take a character that is truly a mixed bag of emotions and keeps you on her side the entire film. Peg Dahl (Deutch) is a young woman who since childhood has strived to use her business sense and fearlessness to make a name for herself in the business world. But her fearlessness as an adult has landed her in jail. She's now out and is looking for a fresh start. After being hassled by a debt collector on the phone, she turns the tables on him and shows up to their offices, joining their team and quickly rising to the top as their top collector. The collective cast of Judy Greer, Noah Reid, Jai Courtney, and Jermaine Fowler all turn in fantastic supporting turns. And enough good cannot be said about Zoey Deutch. She is phenomenal and even if the film wasn't great, her performance alone would make this a must see. Hilarious and heartfelt, with a not so suble wink towards the flawed debt industry, BUFFALLOED is a true winner.

Wednesday
May012019

COMING SOON! 2019 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL REVIEWS!

 

The 2019 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL, presented by AT&T, is currently going on in Downtown Manhattan. And we at THE ARTSWIRE WEEKLY are there! Starting this evening, you'll begin to see all of our reviews (which, in total, will swell to over 40 reviews). Check them out, and see a movie for yourself! Purchase tickets at http://www.tribecafilm.com/ now through Sunday, May 5th!

 


Saturday
Apr272019

AND OUR NOMINATION GOES TO... // MATEO & RICKY'S TONY NOMINATIONS

BY MATEO MORENO

BY RICKY JONES

We here at "The ArtsWire Weekly" LOVE Musical Theatre. So much that two of us started our own Tony Nominations (which are set to be officially announced Tuesday April 30th at 8:30AM). Below you'll see what Ricky and Mateo would nominate if they had their choice. It's funny to note that many of them are the same, i.e. "Great minds think alike." But there are some definite changes in their paths. So check out our noms and compare to what actually DID get nominated!

 

 

BEST MUSICAL

Mateo's Picks

  • HADESTOWN
  • THE PROM
  • TOOTSIE
  • BEETLEJUICE

Ricky's Picks

  • HADESTOWN
  • THE PROM
  • BEETLEJUICE
  • TOOTSIE

 

BEST PLAY

Mateo's Picks

  • WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME
  • CHOIR BOY
  • TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
  • THE FERRYMAN

Ricky's Picks

  • TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
  • THE FERRYMAN
  • CHOIR BOY
  • INK
  • HILLARY AND CLINTON

 

BEST MUSICAL REVIVAL

Mateo's Picks

  • OKLAHOMA!
  • KISS ME, KATE

Ricky's Picks

  • KISS ME, KATE
  • OKLAHOMA!

 

 

BEST PLAY REVIVAL

Mateo's Picks

  • TORCH SONG
  • BURN THIS
  • ALL MY SONS
  • KING LEAR

 Ricky's Picks

  • THE BOYS IN THE BAND
  • BURN THIS
  • THE WAVERLY GALLERY
  • ALL MY SONS
  • TORCH SONG

 

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

Mateo's Picks

  • Brooks Ashmanskas – THE PROM
  • Santino Fontana – TOOTSIE
  • Reeve Carney – HADESTOWN
  • Damon Daunno – OKLAHOMA
  • The Puppeteers – KING KONG

Ricky's Picks

  • Brooks Ashmankas - THE PROM
  • Alex Brightman - BEETLEJUICE
  • Santino Fontana - TOOTSIE
  • Will Chase - KISS ME KATE
  • Derrick Baskins - AIN'T TOO PROUD

 

BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

Mateo's Picks

  • Beth Leavel – THE PROM
  • Stephanie J. Block – THE CHER SHOW
  • Sophia Anne Caruso – BEETLEJUICE
  • Rebecca Naomi Jones – OKLAHOMA
  • Caitlin Kinnunen – THE PROM

Ricky's Picks

  • Beth Level - THE PROM
  • Sophia Anne Caruso - BETTLEJUICE
  • Stephanie J. Block - THE CHER SHOW
  • Kelli O'Hara - KISS ME, KATE
  • Caitlin Kinnunen - THE PROM

 

BEST FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

Mateo's Picks

  • George Salazar – BE MORE CHILL
  • Reg Rogers – TOOTSIE
  • Andre De Shields – HADESTOWN
  • Patrick Page – HADESTOWN
  • Damon Daunno – OKLAHOMA!

Ricky's Picks

  • Reg Rogers - TOOTSIE
  • Rob McClure - BEETLEJUICE
  • Andre De Shields - HADESTOWN
  • Patrick Vaill - OKLAHOMA!
  • Patrick Page - HADESTOWN

 

 

 

 

BEST FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

Mateo's Picks

  • Amber Gray – HADESTOWN
  • Bonnie Milligan – HEAD OVER HEELS
  • Leslie Kritzer – BEETLEJUICE
  • Ali Stroker – OKLAHOMA
  • Angie Schworer – THE PROM

Ricky's Picks

  • Leslie Kitzer - BEETLEJUICE
  • Ali Stroker - OKLAHOMA!
  • Mary Testa - OKLAHOMA!
  • Bonnie Milligan - HEAD OVER HEELS
  • Amber Grey - HADESTOWN

 

BEST ACTOR IN A PLAY

Mateo's Picks

  • Paddy Considine – THE FERRYMAN
  • Jeremy Pope – CHOIR BOY
  • Michael Urie – TORCH SONG
  • Jeff Daniels – TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
  • Jonny Lee Miller – INK

Ricky's Picks

  • Paddy Considine - THE FERRYMAN
  • Jeremy Pope - CHOIR BOY
  • Jeff Daniels - TO KILL A MOCKINBIRD
  • Brian Cranston - NETWORK
  • Jonny Lee Miller - INK

 

BEST ACTRESS IN A PLAY

Mateo's Picks

  • Heidi Schreck – WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME
  • Kerry Washington – AMERICAN SON
  • Laura Donnelly – THE FERRYMAN
  • Annette Benning – ALL MY SONS
  • Janet McTeer – BERNHARDT/HAMLET

Ricky's Picks

  • Kerry Washington - AMERICAN SON
  • Glenda Jackson - KING LEAR
  • Annette Benning - ALL MY SONS
  • Elaine May - THE WAVERLY GALLERY
  • Laurie Metcalf - HILLARY AND CLINTON

 

BEST FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY

Mateo's Picks

  • Bertie Carvel – INK
  • John Clay III – CHOIR BOY
  • Caleb Eberhardt – CHOIR BOY
  • Max Gordon Moore – THE NAP
  • Tom Glynn-Carney – THE FERRYMAN

Ricky's Picks

  • Brandon Uranowitz - BURN THIS
  • Bertie Carvel - INK
  • Tom Glynn-Carney - THE FERRYMAN
  • Zak Orth - HILLARY AND CLINTON
  • Benjamin Walker - ALL MY SONS

 

BEST FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY

Mateo's Picks

  • Fionnula Flanagan – THE FERRYMAN
  • Ceila Keenan-Bolger – TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
  • Genevieve O’Reilly – THE FERRYMAN
  • Mercedes Ruehl – TORCH SONG
  • Julie White - GARY: A SEQUEL TO TITUS ANDRONICUS

Ricky's Picks

  • LaTanya Richardson Jackson - TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
  • Joan Allen - THE WAVERLY GALLERY
  • Julie White - GARY: A SEQUEL TO TITUS ANDRONICUS
  • Dearbhla Molloy - THE FERRYMAN
  • Fionnula Flanagan - THE FERRYMAN

 

BEST DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL

Mateo's Picks

  • Rachel Chavkin – HADESTOWN
  • Daniel Fish – OKLAHOMA!
  • Casey Nicholaw – THE PROM
  • Alex Timbers – BEETLEJUICE

Ricky's Picks

  • Alex Timbers - BEETLEJUICE
  • Rachel Chavkin - HADESTOWN
  • Casey Nicholaw - THE PROM
  • Scott Ellis - TOOTSIE

 

 

 

 

BEST DIRECTOR OF A PLAY

Mateo's Picks

  • Sam Mendes – THE FERRYMAN
  • Trip Cullman – CHOIR BOY
  • Rupert Goold – INK
  • Bartlett Sher – TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

Ricky's Picks

  • Sam Mendes - THE FERRYMAN
  • Rupert Goold - INK
  • Ivo Van Hove - NETWORK
  • Trip Cullman - CHOIR BOY

 

 

 

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Mateo's Picks

  • Anais Mitchell – HADESTOWN
  • Bryan Adams – PRETTY WOMAN
  • Matthew Skylar, Chad Beguelin – THE PROM
  • Danny Elfman – GARRY: A SEQUEL TO TITUS ANDRONICUS

Ricky's Picks

  • Anais Mitchell - HADESTOWN
  • Matthew Skylar, Chad Beguelin - THE PROM
  • David Yazbek - TOOTSIE
  • Jason Michael Webb, Fitz Patton - CHOIR BOY

 

 

 

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY

Mateo's Picks

  • David Neumann – HADESTOWN
  • Warren Carlyle – KISS ME, KATE
  • Sergio Trujillo – AIN'T TOO PROUD
  • Casey Nicholaw – THE PROM

 Ricky's Picks

  • Spender Liff - HEAD OVER HEELS
  • Casey Nicholaw - THE PROM
  • Connor Gallagher - BEETLEJUICE
  • Warren Carlyle - KISS ME, KATE

 

 

BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL

Mateo's Picks

  • Anais Mitchell – HADESTOWN
  • Bob Martin – THE PROM
  • Robert Horn – TOOTSIE
  • Scott Brown, Anthony King – BEETLEJUICE

Ricky's Picks

  • Scott Brown, Anthony King - BEETLEJUICE
  • Robert Horn - Tootsie
  • Anais Mitchell - HADESTOWN
  • Bob Martin, Chad Beguelin - THE PROM

 

BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A PLAY

Mateo's Picks

  • Rob Howell - THE FERRYMAN
  • Bunny Christie - INK
  • Jan Versweyveld - NETWORK
  • Derek McLane - AMERICAN SON

Ricky's Picks

  • Rob Howell - THE FERRYMAN
  • Beowulf Boritt - BERHARDT/HAMLET
  • Bunny Christie - INK
  • Jan Versweyveld - NETWORK

 

BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A MUSICAL

Mateo's Picks

  • Rachel Hauck - HADESTOWN
  • David Korins - BEETLEJUICE
  • Beowulf Boritt - BE MORE CHILL
  • Laura Jellinek - OKLAHOMA!

Ricky's Picks

  • David Korins - BEETLEJUICE
  • Peter England - KING KONG
  • Rachel Hauck - HADESTOWN
  • Laura Jellinek - OKLAHOMA!

 

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A PLAY

Mateo's Picks

  • Peter Mumford - THE FERRYMAN
  • Peter Kaczorowski - AMERICAN SON
  • Jan Versweyveld, Tal Yarden - NETWORK
  • Peter Kaczorowski - CHOIR BOY

Ricky's Picks

  • Peter Mumford - THE PERRYMAN
  • Jan Versweyveld, Tal Yarden - NETWORK
  • Neil Austin - INK
  • Hugh Vanstone - THE BOYS IN THE BAND

 

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A MUSICAL

Mateo's Picks

  • Bradley King - HADESTOWN
  • Kenneth Posner, Peter Nigrini - BEETLEJUICE
  • Natasha Katz - THE PROM
  • Kevin Adams - HEAD OVER HEELS

Ricky's Picks

  • Peter Mumford - KING KONG
  • Kenneth Posner, Peter Nigrini - BEETLEJUICE
  • Bradley King - HADESTOWN
  • Kevin Adams - THE CHER SHOW

 

BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A PLAY

Mateo's Picks

  • Ann Roth - GARY: A SEQUEL TO TITUS ANDRONICUS
  • Jane Greenwood - ALL MY SONS
  • Bunnie Christie - INK
  • Rob Howell - THE FERRYMAN

Ricky's Picks

  • Toni-Leslie James - BERNHARDT/HAMLET
  • David Zinn - THE BOYS IN THE BAND
  • Ann Roth - GARY: A SEQUEL TO TITUS ANDRONICUS
  • Clint Ramos - TORCH SONG

 

BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A MUSICAL

Mateo's Picks

  • Michael Krass - HADESTOWN
  • William Ivey Long - BEETLEJUICE
  • Arianne Phillips - HEAD OVER HEELS
  • Matthew Patchman - THE PROM

Ricky's Picks

  • Arianne Phillips - HEAD OVER HEELS
  • William Ivey Long - BEETLEJUICE
  • Bob Mackie - THE CHER SHOW
  • Michael Krass - HADESTOWN

 

BEST SOUND DESIGN OF A PLAY

Mateo's Picks

  • Nick Powell - THE FERRYMAN
  • Fitz Patton - CHOIR BOY
  • Eric Sleichim - NETWORK
  • Adam Cork - INK

Ricky's Picks

  • Nick Powell - THE FERRYMAN
  • Adam Cork - INK
  • Fitz Patton - CHOIR BOY
  • Scott Lehrer - TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

 

BEST SOUND DESIGN OF A MUSICAL

Mateo's Picks

  • Nevin Steinberg, Jessica Paz - HADESTOWN
  • Ryan Rumery - BE MORE CHILL
  • Peter Hylenski - BEETLEJUICE
  • Brian Ronan - THE PROM

Ricky's Picks

  • Peter Hylenski - KING KONG
  • Nevin Steinberg, Jessica Paz - HADESTOWN
  • Nevin Steinberg - THE CHER SHOW
  • Ryan Rymery - BE MORE CHILL

 

BEST ORCHESTRATIONS

Mateo's Picks

  • Michael Chorney, Todd Sickafoose - HADESTOWN
  • Simon Hale - TOOTSIE
  • Larry Hochman, John Clancy - THE PROM
  • Larry Hochman - KISS ME, KATE

Ricky's Picks

  • Michael Chorney, Todd Sickafoose - HADESTOWN
  • Larry Hochman, John Clancy - THE PROM
  • Simon Hale - TOOTSIE
  • Tom Kitt - HEAD OVER HEELS