Who’s going to Tribeca? The organizers clearly hope the answer is everybody. There’s not just a little bit of everything, but so much of everything it’s almost impossible to determine which films are really something and which are just much ado about nothing. The festival metastisizes a bit more every year and has finally expanded into new theaters all over Manhattan. If this five-year-fest really intends to be as big and sprawling as our city…well, that’s a tough goal to meet, but you’ve got to admire the ambition, no matter how many mediocre movies you saw last year. To rephrase the question: Who’s going to Tribeca? Optimists.
Who’s not going? That’s an easier question. The festival’s most famous guest, Tom Cruise, may skip his high-profile premiere—and his plans to traverse New York City by motorbike, helicopter, cab, and other cross-branded synergistic promotional vehicles—to spend time with his new baby, Suri (heard of her?). If he’s not around, it will further intensify the tension between the blockbusters and the little guys in Cruise’s shadow.
On a more sobering note (though not to paparazzi), an actor who definitely can’t make it is Lewis Alsamari. Already, good reviews are mounting for Paul Greengrass’s powerful United 93, but the British-Iraqi actor says he suspects that he was recently denied a travel visa by the U.S. embassy in London “because I am still an Iraqi citizen and fought in the Iraqi army.” Then again, maybe he just needs Tom Cruise’s agent.