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Caryn James

Critic's Choice: Three Lively Discoveries From The Tribeca Film Festival

  • By Caryn James
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  • April 22, 2014 8:59 AM
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Here are three lovely, beautifully-realized, low-key films worth catching at the Tribeca Film Festival. Two have well-known actors (though no superstars) and another none at all, but all three surprised me by making familiar ideas or approaches feel excitingly alive on screen

The Amazing Little 'Broken Circle Breakdown'

  • By Caryn James
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  • November 1, 2013 10:31 PM
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Bluegrass and Belgium are two words I would not have thought to put in the same sentence (or thought about at all, really) before The Broken Circle Breakdown, Belgium's entry in the Oscar race. Bluegrass is a crucial element in the story, from the sexy beginning to the wrenching end of a romance between a musician and the woman who becomes his wife and a singer in the group. And this exquisitely made, exceptionally moving film -- told in an elegant pattern of present-day scenes and flashbacks, full of music that suits every graceful shift in tone, directed with authority and sophistication by Felix van Groeningen -- comes with a horrendous, understandable marketing problem.

'The Patience Stone': An Afghan Woman With Global Impact

  • By Caryn James
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  • August 13, 2013 10:08 AM
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The Patience Stone is an exceptional, eloquent film with a richly specific setting and global resonance. Directed by Atiq Rahimi, it is the story of an Afghan woman in a war-torn village, keeping watch over her once-belligerent, now comatose husband. The plot turns on a question that gets to the heart of a problem facing oppressed women everywhere: left alone to care for herself and her two daughters, how can a someone whose every move had formerly been controlled by her husband possibly fend for herself?

Underrated At the Tribeca Film Festival : 'Almost Christmas'

  • By Caryn James
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  • April 28, 2013 11:02 AM
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The new film from Phil Morrison (the director of Junebug) has not been embraced by most critics at the Tribeca Film Festival (actually, most of them hated it) but I so disagree. Almost Christmas is one of my favorites from this year's festival, a thoroughly fresh dark comedy - more sly and absurd than laugh-out-loud - with Paul Giamatti and Paul Rudd as down-on-their-luck Canadians who come to New York to sell Christmas trees for a month.

'The Reluctant Fundamentalist': Mira Nair's Mirror of American-Pakistani Relations

  • By Caryn James
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  • April 22, 2013 2:25 PM
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In a Lahore cafe, the Pakistan-born, Princeton-educated hero of Mira Nair's The Reluctant Fundamentalist tells an American reporter about his reaction to the World Trade Center attacks. Changez (Riz Ahmed) was as horrified as anyone – but at first there was an instinctive smile, simple "awe," as he puts it, at the audacity of "arrogance brought low." The journalist, Bobby Lincoln, (Liev Schreiber) responds with a glare of pure, restrained fury.

Hugh Dancy and Maggie Gyllenhaal In Witty, Slyly Feminist "Hysteria"

  • By Caryn James
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  • May 17, 2012 9:38 PM
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Hysteria, one of the highlights of the Tribeca Film Festival, is now opening in theaters. If you misssed my Tribeca review of this sharp witty film, here it is:

Hugh Dancy and Maggie Gyllenhaal In the Witty "Hysteria"

  • By Caryn James
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  • April 24, 2012 12:34 PM
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Hysteria, one of the highlights of the Tribeca Film Festival, is now opening in theaters. If you misssed my Tribeca review of this sharp witty film, here it is:

Tribeca Highlight: Emily Blunt In Lynn Shelton's Your Sister's Sister

  • By Caryn James
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  • April 21, 2012 3:32 PM
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It’s a small relationship film with a big bold impact: witty, nuanced, beautifully acted, Your Sister’s Sister is one of the best movies so far at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Video Interview: Edward Burns On His Small-Budget Charmer, "Newlyweds"

  • By Caryn James
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  • December 21, 2011 10:25 PM
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Edward Burns’ latest film, Newlyweds, is a delightfully witty, sharply observed romance that comes with its own amazing origin story. Although you wouldn’t guess it from the film’s clear, bright look, it was shot for a pittance -- around $9,000, yes that’s thousand – in recognizable locations around Tribeca (that's the Franklin St. subway stop in the background of the photo above). Shoestring budgets don’t get stringier.

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