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May 28th
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Tribeca Film Festival recap: Top picks from the experts

Tribeca041812_optBY JOE TYRRELL

As the annual Tribeca Film Festival enters its final weekend, when audience favorites are given additional viewings, several of our reviewers have joined forces to spotlight some of their favorites from the past week.

We agreed that this year's line-up, while not as high-profile as some previous editions, was strong from top to bottom. There have been touching documentaries, riveting features and clever shorts, some promising more to come. With a few screenings still to come, here are our personal highlights so far:

"ALL IN" (La Suerte en Tus Manos): A light comedy about lovers reconnecting many years after they called it quits, "All In" is clever, funny and enjoyable. The entire film doesn't add up to much, and the ending is the definition of cliche (all of the actors meet at a rock concert for some tunes and catharsis), but Daniel Burman's film knows how to keep one's interest. Great performances from Jorge Drexler and Valeria Bertuccelli anchor the movie. John Soltes

"BALLROOM DANCER": An unexpectedly intimate documentary about the competitive world of ballroom dancing, "Ballroom Dancer" follows Slavik Kryklyvyy and Anna Melnikova as they grow closer to each other as dance partners and real-life partners, and soon realize they are incompatible on both fronts. Directors Christian Bonke and Andreas Koefoed have an all-access pass to the dancers, and the filmmakers are able to prove there's a little more steam left in the "competition" documentary sub-genre. John Soltes

"BEYOND THE HILL" (Tepenin Ardi): Perhaps the best feature film at the Tribeca Film Festival, "Beyond the Hill" is a haunting portrait of a Turkish family in crisis. Loyalties are tested and loved ones grow apart, but nothing is as scary as the pending doom just over the hill. Emin Alper's debut feature is an atmospheric look at the breakdown of family relationships and the constant fear of the unknown. John Soltes 

"BOOKER'S PLACE": A MISSISSIPPI STORY: Terrific documentary that manages to clearly tell a convoluted story about the impact of a 1960s TV news story on a small Mississippi town. Race, class, media, politics all combine in this amazing film. Miriam Rinn

Revisiting the subject matter of his father's groundbreaking documentary on race relations, director Raymond De Felitta has crafted an engaging testimony on how a story can evolve through the decades. John Soltes

"DEADFALL": A heist goes well, but the aftermath does not. Director Stefan Ruzowitzky and writer Zach Dean take a similar approach in smartly reworking the film noir. Yes, the set-up has the shady lady and the disappointing son, the stolid wife and the brash lawman, bad luck and very bad deeds. But here, they combine in unexpected ways, infusing pulse-pounding suspense with emotional depth. Leads Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde raise their games to match supporting players Sissy Spacek, Kris Kristofferson, Charley Hunnam and Kate Mara. Joe Tyrrell

"DEATH OF A SUPERHERO": Don't be put off by the title, this moving film reinvents another genre. Thomas Brodie-Sangster is a Dublin teen who is trying to come of age and become a graphic artist. But he is also fighting cancer, and the well-meaning parents and health professional trying to help him cope. Andy Serkis is the indifferent psychiatrist, more concerned with his own loss, who lights a spark. Joe Tyrrell

"THE FLAT": Fascinating Israeli documentary that examines the filmmaker’s grandparents long friendship with a high-ranking Nazi official. A German Jewish couple who moved to Tel Aviv in the early 1930s somehow maintain their love of Germany and a relationship with an SS officer. Bizarre doesn’t begin to describe it. Miriam Rinn


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