Tribeca Film Festival 2022 review: Peter Dinklage tackles real estate and relationships in ‘American Dreamer’

AMERICAN DREAMER

There’s something about Peter Dinklage that makes him a brilliant leading man. Tribeca 2022 film American Dreamer is another example of his ability to captivate on screen. In Paul Dektor‘s feature directorial debut, Dinklage plays adjunct social economics professor and lecturer Dr. Phil Loder. As he speaks eloquently to his students, we witness a sly Indian Jones hommage from the front row. Perusing real estate porn, as so many of us do regularly, Phil is serious about finding his slice of heaven and stability in his career. Chasing tenure and respect, he stumbles across a deal in the classifieds that seems too good to be true. With the assistance of his smarmy real estate agent, played to perfection by Matt Dillon, Phil purchases an enormous estate. But there is a catch. His contract contains a “live-in” clause for the previous owner. 

Phil has sold his soul to a woman named Astrid. Thought to be on her deathbed, unpredictable circumstances lead Phil to hire a private detective (Danny Glover) while navigating a complicated relationship with Astrid and her skeptical daughter Maggie. The script dives into the mythic “American Dream” and what the concept means to each of us. Screenwriter Theodore Melfi allows MacLaine and Dinklage to do their proverbial thing. I was hypnotized by the ease of their scenes together. 

Shirley MacLaine brings her truest form with sass and spitfire. Her ability to make you smirk and piss you off is a gift. She’s a legend, and Dinklage keeps pace at every turn. Peter Dinklage has mastered the art of charming his costars and the audience. After watching him in Cyrano, his sex symbol status became solidified. In American Dream, Melfi and Dektor allow him to woo in only the way Peter can woo. Picturing him as a man that constantly has women in the palm of his hand is sheer perfection. His comic timing is unmatched. The magic permeates throughout his fully fleshed-out portrayal of a flawed man.

American Dreamer wins with a great score and soundtrack, stunning locations, funny fantasy sequences, and some clever transitions in the form of novel chapters. I had no idea where this plot was going, and damnit, that’s rare. It is easy to say that it is one of my Top 3 films from the festival this year. I cannot wait for larger audiences to experience this beguiling comedy when it inevitably gets distribution. You’re gonna love it.


DIRECTOR
Paul Dektor
PRODUCERS
Toyo Shimano, Emily Shimano, Theodore Melfi, Kimberly Quinn, Peter Dinklage, David Ginsberg, Paul Dektor
SCREENWRITER
Theodore Melfi
CINEMATOGRAPHER
Nicolas Bolduc
EDITOR
Lisa Robison
COMPOSER
Jeff Russo
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Kevin Root
ASSOCIATE PRODUCERS
Trisha Wilson, Dylan Collingwood
CAST

Peter Dinklage, Shirley MacLaine, Matt Dillon, Danny Glover, Kimberly Quinn, Danny Pudi, Michelle Mylett


Shirley MacLaine & Jessica Lange in ‘Wild Oats’ on demand & DVD October 4th

wild-oats

Acclaimed director Andy Tennant’s (Hitch, Sweet Home Alabama) refreshing and hilarious comedy Wild Oats arrives on DVD on October 4, 2016 from Anchor Bay Entertainment and on Digital HD and On Demand. The film is set in the golden years of life and featuresAcademy Award® winner Shirley MacLaine (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, In Her Shoes, Terms of Endearment), Academy Award winner Jessica Lange (“American Horror Story,” Grey Gardens, Tootsie), Billy Connelly (Brave, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, Gulliver’s Travels), and Demi Moore (Forsaken, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle).

Eva (MacLaine), a widow and retired history teacher, enjoys a quiet life. Everything changes when she receives a life insurance check accidentally made out for $5,000,000 instead of the expected $50,000. At the not-so-gentle urging her best friend Maddie (Lange), Eva deposits the money and the two friends head to the Canary Islands with every intention of living it up. But their fantasy is short-lived when they discover that they have become media sensations overnight. Fugitives from justice, the two are forced to outwit a trio of conmen, led by the local Wine “warlord”, Carlos (Santiago Segura), outmaneuver a dogged life insurance agent Vespucci (Howard Hesseman) who has teamed up with Eva’s daughter, Crystal (Moore), and outrun the law. What they don’t expect is to be good at it.

Wild Oats will be available on DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment on October 4, 2016 for the suggested retail price of $19.98.

Jeremy’s Review: Michael Radford’s ‘Elsa & Fred’ Is Uneven But Proves Shirley MacLaine & Christopher Plummer Still Have It

Elsa & Fred_1Sheet_rgbFilms for adults are fewer and far between these days. No superheroes? Not based on a bestselling young adult novel? Too bad, so sad. There are a couple that squeak through the system, though, and Michael Radford‘s Elsa & Fred was among them. With an all-star cast including Oscar winners Shirley MacLaine, Christopher Plummer and Marcia Gay Harden along with George Segal, James Brolin, Scott Bakula and Chris Noth you have the making of a pretty good movie in names alone. Does the film live up to the cast, though? Read More →