Tribeca Film Festival: 3 Noteworthy Films tackle Temptation, Guilt & Bullying By Steve V. Rodriguez

Diptic

Tribeca Film Festival celebrates 10 years this year and I had a chance to see a few selected features, 2 of which will be released nationally and the other dealing with the relevant topic of kids and bullying. Good news for those that can’t wait as 2 of the films are being offered to rent on iTunes under the Tribeca Film Festival Category for $6.99 each. See these films before they are released.

“Last Night”

“Last Night” stars Keira Knightley and Sam Worthington as a couple who have been married for three years that have their marriage tested when they are both faced with temptation outside of their marriage. Joanna (Knightley)  sees an intimate interaction at a business party between her husband Michael (Worthington) and a co-worker played by Eva Mendes. Her speculation turns to accusations towards Michael’s interest in his co-worker which ultimately turn out to be true. Simultaneously, Joanna runs into an old flame, Alex (Guillaume Canet) who is in town and looks Joanna up to to try and reignite and figure out what went wrong between the two of them. The film is an intricate and detailed look at trust and temptation in relationships and the choices that follow. Massy Tadjedin does a great job of directing “Last Night” which moves in a languid and flirtatious style flipping back and forth between both Joanna and Michael as they explore temptation and the potential repercussions of infidelity. The subtle acting that relies more on a mood and pondering looks says a lot for the cast at evoking a realistic portrayal of life’s intricacies involving love and lust.“Last Night” opens in theaters on May 6, 2011. Last Night

“The High Cost of Living”

Zach Braff stars as a high priced drug dealer, Henry who is living life recklessly in Montreal with an expired visa. Isabelle Blais plays, Nathalie who is married and about to have her first child at any minute. Both Henry and Nathalie’s opposite lives merge at an intersection that will bring the unlikely pair together under unusual circumstances. Both characters rely on the other for comfort while a looming secret weighs heavy above their heads threatening to burst at any minute. The outcome will have both characters questioning each other and searching for a deeper meaning for their existence. Most of us know Braff for his comedic acting on “Scrubs”, but will be surprised to see him successfully play Henry revealing multiple dramatic layers as the character hits rock bottom and and has to make adult choices in dealing with his guilt. Blais is wonderful as Nathalie who highlights her character with the uncertainty and confusion that her future holds mixed with a numbing sense of isolation not common in many characters in film today. The film will suck you in and have you committed  the moment it begins. Once again the mix of directing (Deborah Chow) and acting combine to have it’s audience care about the story and it’s character’s outcome.

“The High Cost of Living” will have limited release on May 13th and can also be rented currently on iTunes: The High Cost of Living

“The Bully Project”

As teen bullying continues to rise in the U.S. with the latest reports indicating that over 18 million kids will be bullied this year alone, the greater need for education and awareness is critically needed at this time. Through organizations as GLSEN and young adults themselves like rock band, Radio Silence NYC more and more awareness and education are being disseminated. The new documentary premiering at The Tribeca Film Festival, “The Bully Project” gets inside the problem following 5  kids and their families over the course of an entire year. The pain that many of these kids face each day is also shown affecting the families as suicides takes the lives of two of the featured families. Through these heartfelt stories of isolation and senseless pain, the audience gets a first hand look at an American crises they cannot ignore. The film’s intentions are more than education,  they are a call to action for discussion, awareness and change for kids, teachers and adults. You can keep up with the film and the movement at www.thebullyproject.com