Even being killed by a bolt of lightning won’t keep budding young journalist Carson Phillips (Glee’s Chris Colfer) quiet. Trapped by his small-minded town, this outspoken high school senior recounts the last few weeks of his life through a series of upbeat flashbacks in this playful and energetic comedy written by Colfer himself. As his death date readily approaches, Carson struggles to keep it together while waiting on an admission letter from his dream college—his ticket out of banality. Director Brian Dannelly (Saved!) fuses a vivid high school landscape with the intimate video footage shot by classmate Malerie (Rebel Wilson)—who encyclopedically chronicles the lives of her fellow students—adding to the feel of a genuine high school experience. Razor-sharp performances from Colfer and Allison Janney as his mother are reinforced by a memorable supporting cast, including Christina Hendricks (Drive), Angela Kinsey (The Office), and Sarah Hyland (Modern Family) who plays a mean-girl cheerleading captain. Fast-paced and searingly witty, Struck By Lightning proves Colfer is a multifaceted talent and that high school is an endless well for rousing entertainment. [Synopsis courtesy of TribecaFIlm.com]
A mysterious Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver seems to be trying to escape his shady past as he falls for his neighbor – whose husband is in prison and who’s looking after her child alone. Meanwhile, his garage mechanic boss is trying to set up a race team using gangland money, which implicates our driver as he is to be used as the race team’s main driver. Our hero gets more than he bargained for when he meets the man who is married to the woman he loves.
Director Tony Kaye (“American History X”) creates a unique and stylized portrait of the American education system seen through the eyes of substitute teacher Henry Barthes (Adrien Brody). Henry wanders in and out of students’ lives, imparting knowledge where he can in the short time he has with them. Then a new assignment places him at a failing public school run by Principal Dearden (Marcia Gay Harden) and alters his insular world. Henry’s stoic front is slowly chipped away by three women who impact his view on life: a student (newcomer Betty Kaye), a fellow teacher (Christina Hendricks), and a teenage runaway (Sami Gayle).
Kaye has molded a contemporary vision of people who become increasingly distant from others while still feeling the need to connect. He assembles an astounding ensemble cast that includes Lucy Liu, Blythe Danner, James Caan, Tim Blake Nelson, William Petersen, and Bryan Cranston, but it is Brody who carries the film on his able shoulders. He magnificently captures Henry’s complex psychology, using great nuance and intimacy to express the feeling of living in a world of people who either choose to ignore or are just ignored themselves. –David Kwok [Synopsis courtesy of The Tribeca Film Festival]
London, 1962: Two teenage girls, Ginger and Rosa, are inseparable. They play truant together, discuss religion, politics and hairstyles, and dream of lives bigger than their mothers’ frustrated domesticity. But as the Cold War meets the sexual revolution, the lifelong friendship of the two girls is threatened. [Synopsis courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival]
Libby Day was only seven years old when her mother and two sisters were brutally murdered in their rural Kansas farmhouse. In court, the traumatized child pointed the finger at her brother, Ben, and her testimony put the troubled 16-year-old in prison for life. Twenty-five years later, a broke and desperate Libby has run through donations from a sympathetic public and royalties from her sensational autobiography, without ever moving past the events of that night.
When Libby accepts a fee to appear at a gathering of true-crime aficionados led by Lyle Wirth, she is shocked to learn most of them believe Ben is innocent and the real killer is still at large. In need of money, she reluctantly agrees to help them reexamine the crime by revisiting the worst moments of her life. But as Libby and Lyle dig deeper into the circumstances surrounding the murders, her recollections start to unravel and she is forced to question exactly what she saw—or didn’t see. As long-buried memories resurface, Libby begins to confront the wrenching truths that led up to that horrific night.
Lost River weaves elements of fantasy noir and suspense into a modern day fairytale. Set against the surreal dreamscape of a vanishing city, Billy, a single mother of two, is swept into a macabre and dark fantasy underworld while her teenage son discovers a secret road leading to an underwater town. Both Billy and Bones must dive deep into the mystery if their family is to survive. [Synopsis courtesy of Cannes Film Festival]
In the lush tradition of the glorious films of Merchant and Ivory, comes the true life story of Leonie Gilmour (Emily Mortimer), whose life crossed continents, wars and cultures, embodied with courage and passion in search of art and freedom. A tender and inspiring story of a remarkable woman who nurtures the amazing artistic talent of her son who has only one way to succeed and one person to guide him, as he grows into the world renown artist, Isamu Noguchi.