Film items we’ve seen at TIFF back in September in Haifaa Al Mansour’s Mary Shelley and Sebastian Lelio‘s Disobedience, to Sundance’s top prize winner in Desiree Akhavan’s The Miseducation of Cameron Post to Berlin’s Daughter of Mine (read review) to highly anticipated Emma Forrest’s Untogether and Marianna Palka’s Egg, Tribeca Film Fest’s Spotlight Narrative section is a hodgepodge of film items (several world preems) that arrive in NYC with certain clout. Here are the selections:
All These Small Moments, directed and written by Melissa Miller Costanzo. Produced by Lauren Avinoam, Jed Mellick, Katie Leary. (USA) – World Premiere. Howie Sheffield is at a turning point. As he watches his parents’ relationship crumbling, he becomes infatuated with Odessa, a woman he sees each day on the bus ride to school. With Brendan Meyer, Jemima Kirke, Molly Ringwald, Brian d’Arcy James, Sam McCarthy, Harley Quinn Smith.
Back Roads, directed by Alex Pettyfer, written by Tawni O’Dell, Adrian Lyne. Produced by Craig Robinson, Michael Ohoven, Ashley Mansour, Alex Pettyfer, Jake Seal, Dan Spilo. (USA) – World Premiere. A young man cares for his sisters after their mother is imprisoned for murdering their abusive father. When he strikes up an affair with a married woman, long-dormant family secrets bubble to the surface in this noir thriller. With Alex Pettyfer, Jennifer Morrison, Nicola Peltz, June Carryl, Juliette Lewis.
Blue Night, directed by Fabien Constant, written by Laura Eason. Produced by Andrea Iervolino, Monika Bacardi, Sarah Jessica Parker, Alison Benson. (USA) – World Premiere. A devastating diagnosis sends a famous singer reeling through the streets of New York City in this French New Wave-inspired drama. With Sarah Jessica Parker, Simon Baker, Jacqueline Bisset, Common, Taylor Kinney, Renée Zellweger, Waleed Zuaiter.
Daughter of Mine (Figlia mia), directed by Laura Bispuri, written by Francesca Manieri, Laura Bispuri. Produced by Marta Donzelli, Gregorio Paonessa, Maurizio Totti, Alessandro Usai, Viola Fügen, Michael Weber, Dan Wechsler. (Italy, Germany, Switzerland) – North American Premiere. On the windswept coast of Sardinia, two women compete for the affections of 10-year old Vittoria: her troubled, alcoholic birth mother Angelica and her doting adoptive mother Tina. With Valeria Golino, Alba Rohrwacher, Sara Casu, Udo Kier, Michele Carboni.
Disobedience, directed by Sebastian Lelio, written by Sebastián Lelio, Rebecca Lenkiewicz. Produced by Frida Torresblanco, Ed Guiney, Rachel Weisz. (UK) – U.S. Premiere. After the death of her estranged rabbi father, a New York photographer returns to the Orthodox Jewish community in North London where she grew up and, in doing so, reignites long-dormant passions and controversies. With Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams, Alessandro Nivola. A Bleecker Street release.
Egg, directed by Marianna Palka, written by Risa Mickenberg. Produced by Michele Ganeless, Alysia Reiner, David Alan Basche. (USA) – World Premiere. In provocateur Marianna Palka’s sharp and unflinching satire, two couples and a surrogate lay bare the complications, contradictions, heartbreak, and absurdities implicit in how we think about motherhood. With Christina Hendricks, Anna Camp, Alysia Reiner, David Alan Basche, Gbenga Akinnagbe.
In a Relationship, directed and written by Sam Boyd. Produced by Jorge Garcia Castro, David Hunter, Ross Putman. (USA) – World Premiere. Long-term couple Owen and Hallie are breaking up—or maybe not?—and just as their relationship reaches a turning point, Matt and Willa embark on a romance of their own. A funny and deeply felt chronicle of one summer in the lives of two couples in Los Angeles. With Emma Roberts, Michael Angarano, Dree Hemingway, Patrick Gibson, Jay Ellis, Melora Walters.
Jonathan, directed by Bill Oliver, written by Peter Nickowitz, Bill Oliver, Gregory Davis. Produced by Randy Manis, Ricky Tollman. (USA) – World Premiere. Jonathan is a young man with a strange condition that only his brother understands. But when he begins to yearn for a different life, their unique bond becomes increasingly tested in this twisty sci-fi drama. With Ansel Elgort, Suki Waterhouse, Patricia Clarkson.
Mary Shelley, directed by Haifaa Al Mansour, written by Emma Jensen. Produced by Amy Baer, Alan Moloney, Ruth Coady. (Ireland, UK, Luxembourg, USA) – U.S. Premiere. The story of Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin’s whirlwind romance with the tempestuous poet Percy Shelley, a romance that led to her creation of one of the most enduring works of gothic literature before the age of 20: Frankenstein. With Elle Fanning, Douglas Booth, Bel Powley, Joanne Froggatt, Tom Sturridge, Maisie Williams. An IFC release.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post, directed by Desiree Akhavan, written by Desiree Akhavan, Cecilia Frugiuele. Produced by Michael B. Clark, Alex Turtlelaub, Cecilia Frugiuele, Jonathan Montepare. (USA) – New York Premiere. After Cameron is caught making out with another girl on prom night, her conservative guardians send her to gay conversion therapy. There, she forges an unlikely community with her fellow teens in this Sundance-winning coming of age story. With Chloë Grace Moretz, Sasha lane, Forrest Goodluck, John Gallagher Jr., Jennifer Ehle.
Nico, 1988, directed and written by Susanna Nicchiarelli. Produced by Marta Donzelli, Gregorio Paonessa, Joseph Rouschop, and Valérie Bournonville. (Italy, Belgium) – North American Premiere. This whirlwind road movie follows the final months on tour of the singer-songwriter Nico, one-time Warhol superstar and Velvet Underground vocalist. With Trine Dyrholm, John Gordon Sinclair, Anamaria Marinca, Sandor Funtek, Thomas Trabacchi, Karina Fernandez, Calvin Demba. A Magnolia release.
The Seagull, directed by Michael Mayer, written by Stephen Karam. Produced by Jay Franke, David Herro, Robert Salerno, Tom Hulce, Leslie Urdang. (USA) – World Premiere. A sumptuous adaptation of the classic Chekhov play transports the audience to a picturesque lakeside estate, where a love triangle unfolds between the legendary diva Irina, her lover Boris, and the ingénue Nina. With Annette Bening, Saoirse Ronan, Corey Stoll, Elisabeth Moss, Mare Winningham, Jon Tenney, Glenn Fleshler, Michael Zegen, Billy Howle, Brian Dennehy. A Sony Pictures Classic release.
Stockholm, directed and written by Robert Budreau. Produced by Nicholas Tabarrok, Robert Budreau, Jonathan Bronfman. (Canada, Sweden, USA) – World Premiere. In 1973, an unhinged American outlaw walked into a bank in Sweden demanding millions in cash in exchange for his hostages. The events that followed would capture the attention of the world and ultimately give a name to a new psychological phenomenon: Stockholm syndrome. With Ethan Hawke, Noomi Rapace, Mark Strong, Christopher Heyerdahl, Bea Santos, Thorbjorn Harr.
Untogether, directed and written by Emma Forrest. Produced by Scott LaStaiti, Luke Daniels, Brandon Hogan. (USA) – World Premiere. Former writing prodigy Andrea tries not to fall for her one-night stand, while her sister Lisa throws herself into a newfound religious zeal (and the arms of her charismatic rabbi) to avoid the truth about her current relationship in this multi-character romantic drama. With Jamie Dornan, Jemima Kirke, Lola Kirke, Ben Mendelsohn, Billy Crystal, Alice Eve, Jennifer Grey, Scott Caan.