Tribeca Film Festival: ‘Team Foxcatcher’ from Netflix, ‘Always Shine’ & ‘Little Boxes’

Of the last few days of the festival, these three films were among my favorites.

Team Foxcatcher

Meant to be a retreat for elite American athletes, Foxcatcher Farms, and all it was intended to represent, was lost in the paranoid downward spiral of its troubled benefactor John Du Pont. Heir to the Du Pont family fortune, John Du Pont funneled his considerable resources into his love of sports—wrestling in particular. Aiming to reinvigorate the US Olympic wrestling team, Du Pont created Foxcatcher, and invited gold medal champion Dave Schultz to lead the charge. What began as an idealistic sports idyll soon deteriorated into suspicion, distrust, and ultimately murder.

Through fascinating archival footage and never-before-seen home videos shot during Schultz’s time at the farm, director Jon Greenhalgh’s absorbing film unpacks the events leading up to Foxcatcher’s well-documented tragedy, exploring the complex and contradictory character of Du Pont, while serving as a poignant memoir to the legacy of Schultz as a champion wrestler, husband, and father. Team Foxcatcher charts a true American tragedy of Olympic dreams, ambition, mental illness, and murder.

—Cara Cusumano

I haven’t seen the Foxcatcher movie with Steve Carrell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo, so I didn’t have any idea what this was about other than wrestling. I was completely shocked at the story, but even more impressed with the storytelling. It builds up slowing, and documents the events through the stories of those who were there.

Fascinating and compelling, it proves once again that truth is stranger than fiction. Releases on Netflix April 29th.


ALWAYS SHINE_web_2Always Shine

Two women, both actresses with differing degrees of success, travel north from Los Angeles to Big Sur for a weekend vacation in Always Shine, Sophia Takal’s twisty, psychological thriller. Both see the trip as an opportunity to reconnect after years of competition and jealousy has driven a wedge between them, but upon arrival to their isolated, forest retreat, the pair discovers that their once intimate friendship has deteriorated into forced conversations, betrayals both real and imagined, petty jealousies, and deep-seated resentment. As the women allow their feelings to fester, each begins to lose their bearings not only on the true nature of their relationship, but on their own identities. Mackenzie Davis (Halt and Catch Fire) and Caitlin FitzGerald (Masters of Sex) give brave and raw performances as Beth and Anna, two women whose ideas of success are dictated as much by external cultural criterion as their own sense of self-worth. Beautifully photographed and assuredly directed by Takal, Always Shine wraps itself in an evocative shroud of dread and paranoia that lingers long after the final frame.

—Cara Cusumano

On the surface, it’s just a jealous rivalry, but tables turn and suddenly you don’t know what is real anymore. The opening sequence is particularly intense, and sets the stage perfectly for the two women. I also found it quite interesting seeing a woman striking out with a potential suitor, as that’s not normally something depicted. Brilliantly acted and told, this is quite a surprising cinematic treat.

Little Boxes

It’s the summer before 6th grade, and Clark is the new-in-town biracial kid in a sea of white. Discovering that to be cool he needs to act ‘more black,’ he fumbles to meet expectations, while his urban intellectual parents Mack and Gina also strive to adjust to small-town living. Equipped for the many inherent challenges of New York, the tight-knit family are ill prepared for the drastically different set of obstacles that their new community presents, and soon find themselves struggling to understand themselves and each other in this new suburban context.

Director Rob Meyer (A Birder’s Guide to Everything) returns to Tribeca with his second feature, a poignant comedy about understanding identity, featuring a robust cast including Melanie Lynskey, Nelsan Ellis, Armani Jackson, Oona Laurence, Janeane Garofalo, and Christine Taylor. Executive Produced by Cary Fukunaga.

—Tilson Allen-Merry

Subtle and upfront at the same time, I loved the honesty and accessibility of the characters. I struggled through the entire film to place lead actor, Neslan Ellis, as I knew I’d seen him in something before. Turns out, he played Lafayette on HBO’s True Blood, which is as far away from the character in this film as you can imagine. He’s absolutely brilliant as the father in this family that moves to the suburbs after a life in New York City. I absolutely adored the film.

Netflix News: Documentary ‘Team Foxcatcher’ showing at Tribeca Film Festival

Netflixteam foxcatcher tribeca 2016

The incredible true and tragic story of world champion wrestler David Schultz, the centerpiece of a national wrestling training program, comes to life in the riveting new Netflix original documentary feature, Team Foxcatcher.  The film today announced its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 18 ahead of its global debut on Netflix on April 29.

Michael’s review of Foxcatcher with Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum.

Public Screenings at Tribeca Film Festival

  • Monday, April 18 at 5:45 PM – Regal Cinemas Battery Park
  • Tuesday, April 19 at 8:00 PM –  Regal Cinemas Battery Park
  • Friday, April 22 at 6:15 PM – Regal Cinemas Battery Park
  • Saturday, April 23 at 3:15 PM – Bow Tie Cinemas Chelsea

From director Jon Greenhalgh, Team Foxcatcher chronicles the paranoid, downward spiral of millionaire John E. DuPont that led to Shultz’s tragic murder on the DuPont property in 1996. This single event shook the international sports world to its core and cut short the life of a loving family man and one of the world’s top athletes. The film was produced by Neil Fazzari. Jeremy Bailer and Ben Hatta served as Executive Producers.

But before the tragedy, the film begins with the rise of Schultz: a remarkable sportsman who emerged as one of the world’s fiercest wrestling competitors. Chasing his olympic dreams, Schultz and his family relocated to the seemingly idyllic Foxcatcher Farms and joined with DuPont – a benefactor with a vision for making the U.S. wrestling program a dominant global force.

Team Foxcatcher tells the story of descent into tragedy largely through the lens of Nancy Schultz, whose incredible footage chronicled her family’s time at Foxcatcher Farms.  Archival home videos and first hand interviews show how the charismatic Schultz, an Olympic gold medalist and two-time world champion, became the heart of the program and DuPont’s closest confidant.  But on the fringes of this powerful partnership emerged a manic, mentally unstable DuPont, fueled by a disturbing obsession with power, wealth and influence.  The film builds to the tragic final hours at Foxcatcher Farms, the murder of Dave Schultz, and the two-day police standoff before DuPont was ultimately arrested and charged.

“I’m proud to be a part of this film that was six years in the making to honor the incredible legacy of David,” said Nancy Schultz. “With his ties to the wrestling community, we felt Jon Greenhalgh was the perfect filmmaker to tell this story and pay homage to the kind of man and athlete David was.”

On the 20th anniversary of the shocking events, Team Foxcatcher demystifies a story that gripped the nation and opens up a very private, opaque world where friendship, family, and the composition of national sports training programs were not what they appeared to be.  The result is a documentary that fills in new aspects of the story that formed the basis of the 2014 Hollywood feature film.

2015 MTV Movie Awards Nominations Announced

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The 2015 MTV movie awards is upon us and the nominations for the coveted golden popcorn (sorry, I can’t say that without laughing) are here! The award show is unique as it is one of the few awards shows where the viewers actually get to vote for the winners. You can vote for your favorites at MovieAwards.MTV.com through April 11.

I for one can’t wait for the Best Shirtless Performance..that’s a tight race…get it!

Amy Schumer, star of Judd Apatow’s upcoming Trainwreck, will host this year’s show on Sunday, April 12 at 8/7c on MTV.

Movie of the Year
“American Sniper”
“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1″
“Guardians of the Galaxy”
“Gone Girl”
“The Fault In Our Stars”
“Boyhood”
“Whiplash”
“Selma”

Best Female Performance
Jennifer Lawrence, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1″
Emma Stone, “Birdman”
Shailene Woodley, “The Fault In Our Stars”
Reese Witherspoon, “Wild”
Scarlett Johansson, “Lucy”

Best Male Performance
Bradley Cooper, “American Sniper”
Chris Pratt, “Guardians of the Galaxy”
Ansel Elgort, “The Fault In Our Stars”
Miles Teller, “Whiplash”
Channing Tatum, “Foxcatcher”

Best Scared-As-S**t Performance
Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”
Annabelle Wallis, “Annabelle”
Jennifer Lopez, “The Boy Next Door”
Dylan O’Brien, “The Maze Runner”
Zach Gilford, “The Purge: Anarchy”

Breakthrough Performance
Ansel Elgort, “The Fault In Our Stars”
Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”
David Oyelowo, “Selma”
Dylan O’Brien, “The Maze Runner”
Ellar Coltrane, “Boyhood”

Best Shirtless Performance
Zac Efron, “Neighbors”
Chris Pratt, “Guardians of the Galaxy”
Channing Tatum, “Foxcatcher”
Ansel Elgort, “The Fault In Our Stars”
Kate Upton, “The Other Woman”

Best Duo
Channing Tatum & Jonah Hill, “22 Jump Street”
Zac Efron & Dave Franco, “Neighbors”
Shailene Woodley & Ansel Elgort, “The Fault In Our Stars”
Bradley Cooper & Vin Diesel, “Guardians of the Galaxy”
James Franco & Seth Rogen, “The Interview”

Best Fight
Jonah Hill vs. Jillian Bell, “22 Jump Street”
Chris Evans vs. Sebastian Stan, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”
Dylan O’Brien vs. Will Poulter, “The Maze Runner”
Seth Rogen vs. Zac Efron, “Neighbors”
Edward Norton vs. Michael Keaton, “Birdman”

Best Kiss
Ansel Elgort & Shailene Woodley, “The Fault In Our Stars”
James Franco & Seth Rogen, “The Interview”
Andrew Garfield & Emma Stone, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2″
Scarlett Johansson & Chris Evans, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”
Rose Byrne & Halston Sage, “Neighbors”

Best WTF Moment
Seth Rogen & Rose Byrne, “Neighbors”
Jonah Hill, “22 Jump Street”
Jason Sudeikis & Charlie Day, “Horrible Bosses 2″
Miles Teller, “Whiplash”
Rosario Dawson & Anders Holm, “Top Five”

Best Villain
Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”
J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”
Jillian Bell, “22 Jump Street,”
Meryl Streep, “Into the Woods”
Peter Dinklage, “X-Men: Days of Future Past”

Best Musical Moment
Jennifer Lawrence, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1″
Chris Pratt, “Guardians of the Galaxy”
Seth Rogen & Zac Efron, “Neighbors”
Bill Hader & Kristen Wiig, “The Skeleton Twins”
Miles Teller, “Whiplash”

Best Comedic Performance
Channing Tatum, “22 Jump Street”
Chris Pratt, “Guardians of the Galaxy”
Rose Byrne, “Neighbors”
Chris Rock, “Top Five”
Kevin Hart, “The Wedding Ringer”

Best On-Screen Transformation
Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”
Elizabeth Banks, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1″
Zoe Saldana, “Guardians of the Galaxy”
Steve Carell, “Foxcatcher”
Ellar Coltrane, “Boyhood”

If I Chose the Academy Award Winners and Nominees – 2015 edition

I’ve now seen most of the films that had a release in 2014. This makes me more qualified to vote for the Oscars than 97.548% of the Academy’s membership. With the Oscar ceremony occurring tonight, I’ve picked, as I have the previous two years, who I think the nominees and winners should be in the bulk of the major categories. Once again, the foreign film category will be left off because I simply haven’t had access to enough foreign films to make a comment on them. Those that have made it to my neck of the woods, I will say, have been very good for the most part. Read More →

New York Film Festival Announces Main Slate! ‘Gone Girl’ – ‘Inherent Vice’ – ‘Birdman’ – ‘Foxcatcher’

We at Reel News Daily love film festivals and one of our very favorite is the New York Film Festival because they often have the most anticipated and unexpected treasures. Stay tuned for our coverage!

  • 2 World Premieres
  • 5 North American Premieres
  • 13 U.S. Premieres
  • 10 New York Premieres
  • Only 1 Joaquin Phoenix movie (sadface)

Read More →