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Best of the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival!

New York presented top quality films that could play on the Oscar Circuit later this year…

tribeca festBetter late than never right…The festival has officially come to a close and the jury announced their winners for various categories.  Many films made their world debut and there are some definite Oscar-worthy contenders in the mix.  How they will handle their campaigns and how many voters will actually be able/willing to see the films at hand.

I was pleasantly surprised by many films, both traditional narratives and documentaries. Below is my take on the best films and performances in various categories that played in the prestigious festival held in New York.

large_WHITEWASH_2_PUBSBest Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Thomas Haden Church – Whitewash

Thomas Haden Church really manages to outdo himself as an actor and for the first time, becomes something bigger than he probably thought of himself to be.  In a tale of survival, in both the physical and criminal sense, Church lays out an agenda that is both demanding of himself and philosophically sound.  He walks the line of composure and is absolutely hypnotic.  His performance is both poetic and visceral and becomes the first authentically genuine and raw male performance of the film year.

Clayton Davis,

Ethan Hawke – Before Midnight
Paul Giamatti – Almost Christmas

BLUEBIRD_Amy Morton, Emily Meade, John Slattery_Photo by Jody Lee LipesBest Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Amy Morton – Bluebird

Amy Morton is a true revelation, delivering her finest acting performance of her career.  Morton, a wonderful character actress, is probably best remembered as Thomas Ian Nicholas’ mother in the 90s hit Rookie of the Year(1993) and George Clooney’s disgruntled sister in Up in the Air (2009).  She manages to step into her own fierce abilities as an actress that feels much like Melissa Leo’s Oscar-nominated turn in Frozen River (2008).  Morton is aware of her surroundings but she gets completely lost in Lesley and becomes the epicenter of sentiment.

Clayton Davis,

Julie Delpy – Before Midnight
Emma Roberts – Adult World

004GST_Armando_Riesco_003Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Armando Reisco – Adult World

Completely stealing the show and delivering my favorite supporting turn of the year so far is Armando Riesco.  Best known for his brief roles in Garden State (2004) and Che (2008), as the flamboyant and loveable Rubia, Riesco commands the screen and steals focus from every actor on set.  It’s a memorable and dedicating turn by an actor that was in need of a big break into the hearts of viewers.  I believe he’s found it.

Clayton Davis,

Matt Dillon – Sunlight Jr.
Thep Phongam – The Rocket

Xosha Roquemore - G.B.F.Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Xosha Roquemore – G.B.F.

“…the beautiful and memorable actress that was a breath of fresh air during the powerful film Precious by Lee Daniels, is given a role to really stretch her legs. I hope this film mainstreams her into more challenging and accessible roles in the future à la Taraji P. Henson.”

Clayton Davis,

Tess Harper – Sunlight Jr.
Sally Hawkins – Almost Christmas

before-midnight2Best Screenplay
Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Richard Linklater – Before Midnight

“Obviously there’s no big fantasy battle or a near death experience in an incinerator for the meaning of life to be physically explained but in the power of words, and words alone, Before Midnight manages to become the poster child for screenwriting and brilliant storytelling for years to come.”

Clayton Davis,

Daniel Patrick Carbone – Hide Your Smiling Faces
Andy Cochran – Adult World


large_WHITEWASH_33. Whitewash

“The dreary and intimate portrait captured by Cinematographer André Turpin is what encourages the film to go to another place cinematically.  His choices along with Hoss-Desmarais’ direction keep the story and the audience close and working together to get to our resolution.”

Clayton Davis,

large_hide_your_smiling_faces_32. Hide Your Smiling Faces

Daniel Patrick Carbone is a jack of all trades who not only writes and directs the film with an infinite amount of passion but manages to edit the film to a subdued aura that is both pleasing and smooth.  Not to mention his intention to give the audience several instances of apprehension that can give a person with a pacemaker an early trip to the grave, Carbone places guns in the hands of children, puts them near the ledges of a bridge, and even puts them face to face with the dangers of nature.”

Clayton Davis,

BeforeMidnight_Image1. Before Midnight

“This film is easily the best film of the franchise so far.  Packing an emotional and euphoric punch like third-installments like Toy Story 3 (2010) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), films that have a close-nit relation to their predecessors but saving all the masterful speeches and epiphanies for the viewer to indulge in their finales.”

Clayton Davis,

Enjoy and discuss!

What do you think?

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Written by Clayton Davis

Clayton Davis is the esteemed Editor and Owner of Born in Bronx, NY to a Puerto Rican mother and Black father, he’s been criticizing film and television for over a decade. Clayton is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association where he votes and attends the kick off to the awards season, the Critics Choice Awards. He also founded the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association, the first Latino-based critics’ organization in the United States. He’s also an active member of the African-American Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Online, International Press Academy, Black Reel Awards, and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. Clayton has been quoted and appeared in various outlets that include The New York Times,, Variety, Deadline, Los Angeles Times, FOX 5, Bloomberg Television, AOL, Huffington Post, Bloomberg Radio, The Wrap, Slash Film, and the Hollywood Reporter.


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