Next month, the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival will get underway, easing us further away from the past Oscar season. A whole new crop of festival movies is beginning to vie for your attention. The Sundance Film Festival in January and the Berlin Film Festival in February started that off. Just a week ago, South by Southwest concluded, and next on the docket is Tribeca. Coming before the Cannes Film Festival, it has a chance to really showcase some under the radar flicks. You just have to look a little deeper.
Tribeca contains a lot of mysteries within its lineup, so the below ten titles are strictly a guess as to what might be the best that the fest has to offer. Take note, these movies are all American narrative features. While the Documentary and Foreign slates can periodically have Oscar contenders in their midst, it’s impossible to tell from here what they could be. Once the festival is underway, that could become clear. For now, the following ten films will have to suffice.
Here are ten films to look forward to at Tribeca this year:
Every year, Tribeca has at least one romantic drama or dramedy that stands out from the pack. Previous examples include “5 to 7,” “Between Us,” and “Sleeping with Other People,” so 2018 should have one. A prime candidate is “In a Relationship,” from filmmaker Sam Boyd. Adapting his short of the same name, this stars Michael Angarano and Emma Roberts as a couple contemplating breaking up. This sort of thing can be a dime a dozen at festivals, but when done right, few things are better or more satisfying.
First of all, as almost every article involving this film will state, don’t google what “Duck Butter” is. The movie itself, sure. But the description of what the term actually means? You’ll regret it. Miguel Arteta directs and co-writes this comedy with star Alia Shawkat, and it has a hell of a cast. Hong Chau and Kumail Nanjiani are among the supporting players. This is one to watch out for, particularly to see how Shawkat does as a more all encompassing creative force.
An adaptation of the Anton Chekhov play, this features a strong cast that includes Annette Bening, Elisabeth Moss, Saoirse Ronan, and Corey Stoll. “The Seagull” on the surface feels like a potential awards player. Then again, this sort of fare hasn’t been the Academy’s cup of tea lately. If the source material is elevated on the big screen, watch out. Even if it’s not on that level, watching a new interpretation of Chekhov is certainly worthwhile.
The 1973 hostage crisis that captured the world’s attention gets a cinematic retelling. Ever wonder where the term Stockholm Syndrome came from? “Stockholm” will show you. Starring Ethan Hawke, Noomi Rapace, and Mark Strong, there’s some nice talent here. As a true-life crime drama in a time where true crime is huge, this is hitting at the perfect moment. There’s a chance that this could turn into the Tribeca breakout of 2018.
Jessica Chastain comes to Tribeca with “Woman Walks Ahead,” a special presentation for the festival. Previously having debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival to a mixed reception, the western hopes to have a better time in the Big Apple. Chastain is supposed to be outstanding, as always. Susanna White directs a Steven Knight script, while other cast members include newly minted Oscar winner Sam Rockwell. Chastain in a period western/biopic is good enough for me.
A biopic of the author who gave us “Frankenstein,” this drama could be something really fascinating. “Mary Shelley” features Elle Fanning in the title role, with Bel Powley among supporting players. There’s certainly a curiosity about this one, especially as Fanning is one strong role away from being in the thick of the Academy Award hunt. Could it be this one? We shall see in a few short weeks when the festival reveals all.
The Centerpiece of Tribeca this year is the latest from Drake Doremus. Having previously played the fest with “Equals,” he returns with another science fiction romance. Doremus has Rashida Jones, Ewan McGregor, and Léa Seydoux leading the cast. Despite never having matched his breakthrough “Like Crazy,” he’s a terrific filmmaker, so any new work of his is one to look out for. Doremus is due for another critical hit, so maybe this is it?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead as a stand-up comedian? Yes please. “All About Nina” presents her in a dramedy that almost sounds like a female spin on “The Comedian,” at least in broad strokes. Seeing Winstead matched with Common as partner here is a duo worth anticipating. Winstead will ace both the comedy and the personal crisis drama, so watch out for her to emerge as a potential Best Actress dark horse from Tribeca.
A standout earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, many an eye will be at this one. By all accounts, this is a great one. Starring Chloe Grace Moretz, “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” feels very timely as well. Moretz deserves more roles like this, while any chance to see “American Honey” breakout Sasha Lane is a chance worth savoring. This is the possibly the highest profile Tribeca title, at least among things that have previously premiered elsewhere in 2018.
Having already seen this movie, I can vouch for it as one to hotly anticipate. Starring Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz, “Disobedience” shows them at their very best. Emotional, intense, and very sexy, but with a surprisingly tender core, it’s one of the year’s best films overall. Tribeca was lucky to score it. McAdams, Weisz, and co-star Alessandro Nivola make for one of the top trios of 2018. In addition, filmmaker Sebastián Lelio is coming off of “A Fantastic Woman” and its success. In terms of movies to look out for at the festival, this is the one that stands tall above the rest.