Mommy Stars Align at the Tribeca Film Festival

Michelle Williams, Julie Delpy, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in some of the most anticipated movies of the lineup

Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff founded the Tribeca Film Festival to celebrate filmmaking in New York and breathe new life into the downtown Manhattan art scene following the devastation of September 11th. Heralded as an instant success, it’s since shown over 1,300 films from over 80 countries. 2012 marks its eleventh year, and with great actresses like these, it looks like it’s going to be an especially good one.

Michelle Williams, Take This Waltz
In 2006, Canadian actor-turned-director Sarah Polley amazed with the Oscar-nominated Away From Her. Her second film, Take This Waltz, which was a bit of a darling at the Toronto Film Festival last year, will also play at Tribeca. Michelle Williams plays Margot, who meets Daniel (Luke Kirby) on a business trip, only to discover he lives across the street from her and her doting husband, Lou (Seth Rogen). And so the summer kicks off with the formation of the age-old love triangle and the lingering question of will they or won’t they. All is cast in a severely indie light that might strike some as overly precious, but Williams is, as usual, a joy to watch, and Sarah Silverman adds some darkly comic relief as Lou’s recovering alcoholic of a sister.

Julie Delpy, 2 Days in New York
French actress and director Julie Delpy is back to her old tricks—starring in another sharply written, yet softly meandering romantic comedy in which she wanders the streets of a great city (this time, New York) with an enamored lover. As was the case with Delpy’s directorial debut, 2 Days in Paris (2007), the actress plays Marion—a Paris-born photographer who is both averse to American culture and drawn to American men. This time, Marion’s beau, Mingus (Chris Rock) must help her transition to life on the grimy streets of Manhattan, and Delpy fans will remain happily entranced by the keen portrayals (Delpy wrote the script herself) of culture clash and modern love.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Picture Paris
Herself the mother of two growing teenage boys, it is only fitting that Julia Louis-Dreyfus stars in a short film about the tribulations of empty nesting. The 28-minute Picture Paris tells the tale of a suburban mom (Louis-Dreyfus) who plans an elaborate midlife journey to Paris when her son leaves home for college. Of course, her travel plans go riotously awry, and Seinfeld fans will be in heaven as Louis-Dreyfus navigates travel snafus (much is lost in translation) with her characteristic humor. Further strengthening the familial ties, the film was directed by Louis-Dreyfus’ husband, Brad Hall, of Saturday Night Live and Frasier renown.