Earlier this week, the powers that be at the Tribeca Film Festival — you know, Jane Rosenthal and that De Niro dude — announced the lineup for their eighth annual par-tay, which runs April 22-May 3. It looks like there might be a few decent movies to check out this year. Steven Soderbergh will be dropping by with The Girlfriend Experience, a look at five days in the life of a $2,000-an-hour (yowza!) Manhattan hooker, played by “adult film star Sasha Grey,” according to the politely euphemistic press release. In the one-for-them, one-for-me philosophy by which Soderbergh operates, Girlfriend is clearly one for him.
I’m also intrigued by Cheryl Hines’ feature directorial debut, Serious Moonlight, which stars Meg Ryan as a “high-powered attorney” whose lyin’, cheatin’ husband (Timothy Hutton) has been getting it on with a younger hottie (Kristen Bell). I’m less interested in the actors — especially since Ryan just played a jilted rich lady in last summer’s The Women — than I am in the fact that Adrienne Shelly wrote Moonlight before she tragically died in 2006. I love Hines in Curb Your Enthusiasm, and I loved what she and Shelly did together in 2007’s Waitress. So I’m allowing myself to be optimistic about Moonlight.
But what am I most curious about? Love the Beast, which the Tribeca press release — again, hilariously — calls a “love story.” What kind of love story, you ask? Why, one between a man and his car. And that man happens to be…Eric Bana! The Munich star has had the same Ford XB Falcon since he was a 15-year-old lad growin’ up Down Und-ah. And in his directorial debut, he tells the story of that everlasting love — a story “fueled by family, friendship, and the bonds that form through a common passion.” I don’t give a hoot about cars, but I do dig Bana. (If you’ll allow me a moment of Mandi Bierly-like girlishness, I think Bana is dreamy.) Check out the trailer below, in which Bana, speaking with exaggerated, trailer-voice drama in his rarely-heard native Aussie accent, explains, “When I was a kid, I dreamed of being a race-car driver. Even though life has taken me on a surreal and unexpected journey, two things have remained constant: my mates and my beast!” AWESOME. (Watch for cameos by Jay Leno and Dr. Phil.) My only question is: Will Bana be rolling into downtown Manhattan in his Beast? Will the Beast be making a red carpet appearance? Oh, the suspense!