Last night’s screening of the Cameron Crowe documentary The Union (and the post-film concert by its subject, Elton John) marked the kick-off of the tenth annual Tribeca Film Festival — a notable milestone, though it still makes Tribeca a bit of a rookie compared to, say, Cannes or Sundance or the New York Film Festival. Perhaps as a consequence of its youth, Tribeca has yet to establish the kind of definitive brand that some of those festivals have. But the grab-bag quality of its annual slate is much of its charm; star vehicles, documentaries, and micro-budgeted world cinema all share the Tribeca screens, and often the lesser-known films benefit from the spotlight of their better-known brothers. After the jump, we’ll take a look at ten of the most-buzzed titles in the 2011 line-up.
This romantic drama starring Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington, and Eva Mendes looks — at first glance — like a mannered and overwrought examination of white people problems. But Massy Tedjedin’s directorial debut is a complicated and nuanced examination of a married couple attempting to resist temptation. Contrary to the monsters and angels normally created for cinematic takes on infidelity, it’s not a matter of good and bad relationships, or easy choices. It’s a smart, nuanced movie, with moments so honest and penetrating, it’s almost uncomfortably personal to watch.