Gerald Wright's Movie Coverage
Tribeca Film Festival Coverage 2009
APRIL 22 - MAY 3
Click to Read Gerald's Tribeca Overview
"THE EXPLODING GIRL"
USA - North American Premiere
Directed by: Bradley Rust Gray
Running time: 79 mins.
In this deliberately paced narrative, college student Ivy (Zoey Kazan) returns home on summer break to Brooklyn with her longtime platonic male friend Al (Mark Rendell). The opening scenes indicate that she is having trouble getting in touch with her boyfriend Greg (who is never seen on screen - only his voice).
Ivy suffers from epilepsy (convulsions) and her guy pal and sleepover buddy finds himself looking over her in crucial moments. As the hot New York summer melts on, so does the affection of Al towards Ivy. He announces his feeling - but is it good to give up a solid friendship? When Greg dumps Ivy, the lines of friendship begin to blur as she spends more time with Al.
In what I call a predictable love story and coming of age film, the director Bradley Rust Gray skillfully composes a delicate and honest portrait of a young woman at a threshold. Grey balances rich and observational cinematography with the exquisitely resonant performances of Kazan and Rendell.
"QUEEN TO PLAY"
France & Germany - World Premiere
Directed by: Caroline Bottaro
Running time: 96 mins.
In her directorial debut, Parisian director Bottaro makes a solid outing in this uplifting and intricate film depicting how life is closely related to the game of chess.
An inquisitive French Riviera hotel maid Helene (Sandrine Bonnaire) becomes entranced by a vacationing couple, (Jennifer Beals and Dominic Gould) as they play chess on their hotel room balcony. Tired of her humdrum life, she quickly learns the game, and gets help in cultivating obsession of the game from the help of an American retired doctor named Dr. Kruger (Kevin Kline) whose house she cleans a few times a week. His grumpy mannerism do not stop her from picking his brain in mastering the game.
As her passion for chess increases, her natural talent and hard work (done in secret from her husband and troubled teenage daughter) lead her to a chance at a championship and a new shot at life. With a plot mixed with family issues and a re-examination of a marriage, the always charismatic Kevin Kline is impressive in his first entirely French-speaking role, and Sandrine Bottaro's rich central performance absolutely illuminates the screen.
For a schedule of the films and other information go to www.tribecafilmfestival.org.