Tribeca Film Festival Feature Showcase 2022

As we have reached the end of the Tribeca Film Festival, I wanted to highlight a few films that stood out to me within the programming. 

While some may get American releases in theaters or streaming, others may be harder to find and require some due diligence. They may continue traveling the festival circuit or unceremoniously dumped on a streaming platform. Keep these films on your radar; you won’t be disappointed.

The Drop– a hilarious cringe comedy that takes a single screw-up and roles with it, this film had me laughing and anxious all at once. Focusing Lex (Anna Konkle) and Mani (Jermaine Fowler), a young couple trying to have a baby where one accidentally drops a baby in front of their friends at a destination wedding, The Drop succeeds at being crushingly relatable in the most uncomfortable of ways. Everyone in the film is clearly having fun just highlighting the worst qualities in their characters while keeping them grounded enough to keep them relatable. While the film sometimes feels overwritten, tackling too many topics and themes that don’t always jell together, I still found it funny. Jermaine Fowler’s deadpan, dumbfounded expression throughout the film was a delight and the perfect guide through the ocean of delightfully frustrating awkwardness that is The Drop

You can find more information on the film here

Karaoke– a compelling Israeli comedy; Karaoke succeeds at having genuinely relatable characters that you rarely find in American film. The film follows Meir (Sason Gabay) and Tova (Rita Shukrun), a couple in their 60s who become enraptured by their bachelor neighbor, Itsik (Lior Louie Ashkenazi), who moves into the penthouse in their building. The film deals with anxiety and insecurity that come with aging, reflecting on regret and questioning one’s sense of self. The raw vulnerability of these characters makes them compelling to watch, especially as they try to impress Itsik by adopting new hobbies, like background work, modeling, or trying to match his partying lifestyle. What makes the film compelling is that Meir and Tov’s experiences aren’t always bad. Their new hobbies, even just changing clothes, help them feel fulfilled. The changes build these new experiences upon their personalities and, by extension, their insecurities, so the inevitable conflicts feel natural. Karaoke is a compelling film and worth checking out.

You can find more information on screening the film virtually through Tribeca at Home here. It’s available now until July 3rd.

Attachment– a creepy horror film, Attachment draws on Jewish mysticism and superstitions to explore forging a relationship with in-laws in a mixed relationship. The film follows Maja (Josephine Park), a non-Jewish actress who falls in love with Leah (Ellie Kendrick), who is forced to stay in Leah’s mother’s house when Leah start’s experiencing strange seizures. Attachment is more of a slow burn, with the more overt horror elements not coming into play until later in the film. The dramatic portions are incredibly unsettling, maintaining a creepy atmosphere elevated by Maja’s isolation. The film handles the culture clash well, as Maja struggles to acclimate to Leah’s community, a compelling backdrop to trying to connect Maja and her mother, Chana (Sofie Gråbøl). It can feel like a drama, but a well-made one, with Josephine Park delivering a strong performance. Sofie Gråbøl is also excellent as Maja’s mother, as she weaves easily from concerned to disdained to concern. You fully believe that she loves her daughter while also being distrustful of the outside world. Attachment may feel a bit slow for casual viewers, but those who stick through will feel rewarded by this creepy gem.

You can find more information on screening the film virtually through Tribeca at Home here. It’s available now until July 3rd.

Cha Cha Real Smooth– Using Bar/Bat Mitzvahs as the backdrop for a Jewish adult coming-of-age story has to be one of the most brilliant cinematic choices ever made. Following Andrew (Cooper Raff, also the writer/director) as he fosters relationships as a party starter for Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, the film is easily one of the most likable, thoughtful, and touching films I’ve seen all year. While there are many films about a lost 20-something trying to figure out his life, they’re rarely done with this level of maturity and flawed openness. His relationship with his family, such as his younger brother David (Evan Assante) and his mom, Lisa (Leslie Mann), all feel so organic; it’s like watching a real family in a Jewish suburb. Once he starts becoming friends with Domino (Dakota Johnson) and her daughter Lola (Vanessa Burghardt), the layers of Andrew’s thoughtfulness and insecurity genuinely show. Every character in Cha Cha Real Smooth feels like they’re a part of their own movie, making the world more alive. I’d be happy to watch short films based on these characters’ stories. The film shows you can have conflict without characters acting like assholes or contrived. I loved this film; easily one of my favorites out of Tribeca.

The film is in theaters now and available to stream on Apple TV+

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