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Movies for Grownups Weekend Preview: Tomlin and Fonda Laugh at Age

The Tribeca Film Festival and Movies for Grownups Editors’ Choice

Tribeca Film Festival 2016

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Tribeca Film Festival

Moviemakers have descended on lower Manhattan this week for the conclusion of the 11-day Tribeca Film Festival, which runs through Sunday. They’ve been premiering their new films — more than 100 in all — and speaking about them in panel discussions. We were there and picked up these tidbits:

Tribeca Film Festival, J.J. Abrams and Chris Rock

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Producer-director J. J. Abrams and actor-comedian Chris Rock

Star Wars producer-director J. J. Abrams revealed Mark Hamill’s discomfort as he scanned the script for Star Wars: The Force Awakens to find that his character, Luke Skywalker, appears only on the final page. “Imagine him reading that script,” Abrams told Chris Rock during an onstage conversation. “’He’s flipping the pages, thinking, ‘What the …?’” As for the film’s final image — Luke standing silently atop a mountain — “Mark asked me if I thought it might seem like some sort of joke.’ And I said, ‘Well, I don’t think it will …’”

Tribeca Film Festival, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda

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Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda

Best pals Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda are way past worrying about age, they told a Tribeca audience. “When you look at aging from the outside, it’s terrifying,” said the 78-year-old Fonda. “But when you’re smack dab in the middle of it, it’s not scary at all. In fact, it’s better.” Tomlin, 76, who costars with Fonda in the Netflix series Grace and Frankie, seconded that emotion. “I pity so many of you here!” she said, eyeing the largely youth-afflicted audience. “There were no good old days,” Fonda then piped up. “It’s right now!”

New in Theaters

* Designates a Movies for Grownups Editors’ Choice

* Elvis & Nixon
Michael Shannon is the King; Kevin Spacey is the Prez. Both are pitch perfect in this delightful fly-on-the-wall look at Elvis’ impromptu 1971 Oval Office visit.

* The Meddler

Susan Sarandon shines as the overinvolved mother of a TV writer (Rose Byrne). She smothers the poor girl with attention — until, that is, she catches the eye of a charming ex-cop (J. K. Simmons) who rides a Harley and raises chickens.

* A Hologram for the King

Tom Hanks stars as a struggling U.S. businessman who travels to Saudi Arabia in a last-ditch bid to sell new technology to an Arab monarch.


Zoe Saldana (Star Trek) stars as troubled singer, pianist and civil rights advocate Nina Simone; David Oyelowo plays her manager, Clifton Henderson, while Mike Epps channels Richard Pryor.

New at Home

The Revenant

Leonardo DiCaprio gets mauled by a bear, but he gets his revenge by chewing up the scenery for the next 2½ Oscar-winning hours.

* The Lady in the Van

A fact-based dramedy with delightful Maggie Smith as the woman who parked her vehicle in the London driveway of playwright Alan Bennett (Alex Jennings) and lived there for 15 years. FULL REVIEW

* Drunk, Stoned, Brilliant, Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon
The rise and fall of the groundbreaking humor magazine is traced in a documentary that chronicles its impact on what we think is funny. See it or they’ll kill this dog.

Still Out There

* Designates a Movies for Grownups Editors’ Choice

10 Cloverfield Lane

J. J. Abrams’ follow-up to his 2008 monster epic Cloverfield has John Goodman in the lead — and that’s good enough for us.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

The first two hours are spent setting up the unique conditions under which Superman and Batman can fight on equal terms. By then, they — and we — have forgotten what they’re so mad about.


Born to Be Blue

In a biopic that riffs freely between fact and fiction, Ethan Hawke is tragically endearing as 1950s jazz legend Chet Baker. FULL REVIEW

The Boss

Melissa McCarthy is as defiantly funny as ever, playing a fallen corporate mogul making her comeback in the brownie business. But her perennial blowhard-with-a-heart-of-gold shtick is wearing thin. FULL REVIEW


An intense performance by Jake Gyllenhaal nearly saves this convoluted drama about a man oddly unaffected by his wife’s sudden death. FULL REVIEW

* Eddie the Eagle

Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service) brings an earnest naïveté to the role of ungainly British ski jumper Eddie “the Eagle” Edwards. Hugh Jackman is a cranky delight as his coach, a washed-up former ski champ. FULL REVIEW

Everybody Wants Some!!

Or maybe not: The circa-1980 college students who spend an aimless weekend here turn out to be as insufferable as you remember them. FULL REVIEW

Eye in the Sky

Helen Mirren stars as a British commander who must decide whether to take an innocent life in a drone strike on a terrorist training camp. The universally excellent performances include that of the late Alan Rickman in his final film role. FULL REVIEW

* Hello, My Name Is Doris

Sally Field is magnificent as a 60-something office worker pursuing an unlikely crush on a handsome young coworker (Max Greenfield). FULL REVIEW

I Saw the Light

British actor Tom Hiddleston (Thor) effects a surprisingly authentic twang as Hank Williams, the self-destructive star who defined country music in the 1950s.

Louder Than Bombs

Gabriel Byrne stars as a father coping with the loss of his wife, a famed photographer played by Isabelle Huppert. Jesse Eisenberg costars as their son.

* Mia Madre

Director-cowriter Nanni Moretti’s extraordinary study of a film director trying to balance work and caregiving strikes one visceral chord after another.

Miles Ahead

Producer-director-writer-star Don Cheadle’s heartfelt bio of Miles Davis follows the drug-addled trumpeter through a night-long quest to recover a stolen session tape. It’s a jumble out there, but Cheadle is brilliant.

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Miracles from Heaven

Jennifer Garner and Queen Latifah costar in this faith-based film about a mother whose daughter survives a terrifying accident, then finds herself miraculously cured of a “fatal” digestive disorder.

* My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

The cast of the 2002 original is back, as boisterous and big-haired as ever. Michael Constantine and Lainie Kazan shine as 70-somethings who learn their 50-year marriage was never sanctified. FULL REVIEW

* Remember

Christopher Plummer holds us in thrall as a nursing-home resident suffering from dementia who sets off on a cross-country bus trip to kill a Nazi war criminal. FULL REVIEW

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Tina Fey headlines as a cable-news producer who abandons her cushy lifestyle to cover the war in Afghanistan. Her no-nonsense commanding officer: Billy Bob Thornton.

The Young Messiah

This adaptation of Anne Rice’s 2005 novel, which speculated on the childhood of Jesus Christ, was directed by Cyrus Nowrasteh (The Stoning of Soraya M.).

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