By Peter Knegt, Eric Kohn and Nigel Smith | Indiewire April 17, 2012 at 12:57PM
The 2012 Tribeca Film Festival kicks off Wednesday night with a lineup that many are suggesting could be its strongest in recent memory. Indiewire will on the scene for the entire fest (which runs through April 29th), offering reviews and features from all things Tribeca. But before we kick off our coverage, here's a list of 12 films -- each having their world premiere - that we're particularly excited for this year.
"Any Day Now"
"The Space Between" helmer Travis Fine is back at Tribeca this year with his sophomore feature "Any Day Now," a drama that stars Alan Cumming and Garret Dillahunt ("Winter's Bone") as a gay couple struggling for equality in the 70s. Based on a true story, the story centers on Marco, a teenager with Down syndrome, who finds himself at the center of nasty custody battle when Los Angeles authorities discover his guardians are a gay couple. Indiewire checked in on the progress of the feature back in October when the cameras were still rolling. "I'm a huge fan of the gritty, character-driven dramas that were made during the 1970s," Fine told Indiewire. "This offers me an opportunity as a filmmaker to revisit that time period cinematically, address social issues that are just as relevant today as they were 35 years ago, and explore unique characters who discover love in the most unlikely of places." We can't wait to see how it turned out. [Nigel M. Smith]
"Cheerful Weather for the Wedding"
All eyes are on Felicity Jones following her award-winning breakout turn in "Like Crazy." She had a supporting part in "Hysteria," which made its world premiere at last year's Toronto International Film Festival, but "Cheerful Weather for the Wedding" marks her first lead since the film that put her on the map. Set in 1932, "Cheerful Weather" centers on Dolly (Jones), a bride-to-be who locks herself in her bedroom with a jug of rum on the morning of her wedding. Elizabeth McGovern ("Downton Abbey"'s Lady Crawley) plays Dolly's exasperated mother who puts on a brave face when family and friends start gossiping about her daughter's whereabouts. Sounds like a fun romp to us. [Nigel M. Smith]
Doc directing team David Redmon and Ashley Sabin's are following up to their fantastic modeling industry expose "Girl Model" with "Downeast." Screening in Tribeca's World Documentary Competition, the film examines hard times in Gouldsboro, a small coastal town in Maine. After the closure of a sardine canning factory brings hard times to the residents, hope floats via the announcement that a new lobster processing plant with open in the town. Sure to bring the poignant style evident in Redmon and Sabin's previous work (which also includes "Intimidad" and "Kamp Katrina"), this could be one of the festival's standout docs. [Peter Knegt]
Ben Dickinson's hauntingly naturalistic look at a rural community trapped in the country following an urban disaster plays like "Martha Marcy May Marlene" transported to a post-apocalyptic survival narrative -- with lots of yoga and sex. The character types, mostly self-important Brooklynites, seemingly hail from your average mumblecore formula, but the wide open country setting introduces a more profound level of abstraction -- as does the end of the world. [Eric Kohn]