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Monday, April 28, 2008

Tribeca Film Festival Review: The Wackness

Well I gotta say there is definitely nothing "wack" about The Wackness directed by Jonathan Levine. Levine directs a coming of age film about a kid named Luke Shapiro who is the community weed dealer in Manyhatty. Levine a native New Yorker himself who hails from the Upper East Side caught the true essence of the year 1994 by showing images of New York's grafiiti-ridden streets and hearing the sounds of hip hop ballads such as Tribe Called Quest's "Can I Kick It" and R&B classics like R. Kelly's Bump & Grind.

The film stars Josh Peck as the dorky but loveable Luke Shapiro who is naiive when it comes to women. He meets and falls in love with Stephanie who has had as many sexual encounters as Miss Material Girl Madonna herself. Stephanie is played by new "it" girl Olivia Thirlby. Luke in the meantime consults with a wacked out therapist Dr Squires who trades in weed for each therapy session. Dr. Squires is played by the legendary Academy Award winning actor Sir Ben Kingsley. The two form a friendship that changes the lives of whom they encounter as well as their own. However their friendship is compromised when Luke starts dating Stephanie who just so happens to be Dr Squire's stepdaughter.

This film is full of colorful characters and has a great quality that has not been shown on celluloid in a whi
le. Levine is quite accurate in his depiction of New York City in 1994. He even hits the mark on the slang by using words like "wack", "dope" and "word". The film won the Audience Award at Sundance and definitely has won the hearts of indie filmgoers during the screening at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival. Levine himself was there after the screening for a brief Q&A about the film and is definitely some fresh blood on the indieseen worth checking. Pretty humble guy. The film will be released nationwide by Sony Pictures in July. Check out the official website for the film here

1 comment:

Jacinta said...

Great take on the Wackness. What other films did you check out?