The opening night film for the 2015 NYFF was the tremendous “The Walk,” directed by the masterful Robert Zemeckis. On hand and holding court was the Zemeckis, along with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who plays real-life high-wire walker Philippe Petit who was also in attendance.
The technical brilliance and the perfect 3-D re-creation of lower Manhattan in the 1970s makes this film an early award choice for nominations across all categories.
Closing the festival was passion project “Miles Ahead” by Don Cheadle, who raised the funds to produce the film via Kickstarter. This film is a “must see” about Miles Davis and it’s already getting Oscar buzz. Cheadle is the director-writer and he also stars. The film is described as a refracted view “through [Miles Davis’] crazy days in the late ’70s.”
Between the dynamic opening and closing, there were many standouts. And in this treasure chest of jewels, a few managed to stand out more than others.
“De Palma,” directed and produced by Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow and executive produced by Scott Rudin and Eli Bush. Brian De Palma’s career has included “Carrie,” “Dressed to Kill,”“Scarface,” “The Untouchables” and “Mission: Impossible.” Here we learn that De Palma is more than just a director; he is a teacher.
“Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words,” by Stig Bjorkman. This lovingly crafted film is composed from Ingrid Bergman’s letters and diaries, the memories of her children and a few close friends and colleagues, photographs and moments from thousands of feet of Super-8 and 16mm footage shot by Bergman herself.
“Where to Invade Next” by Michael Moore is his smartest documentary to date. He tells the uncomfortable truth about America using indisputable facts wrapped around humor.
The main slate
“The Assassin” by director Hou Hsiao-hsien; “Carol” by Todd Haynes; “Steve Jobs” by Danny Boyle from a screenplay by Aaron Sorkin; “Bridge of Spies” by Steven Spielberg (world premiere), starring Tom Hanks; and “Brooklyn,” based on the novel by Colm Toibin, opening Nov. 4.
The Oscar buzz is swirling around the usual heavyweights, but my wager is on the very fine “Brooklyn,” which left me feeling good from my head to my toes.