5 Must-See Films at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival

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The Tribeca Film Festival kicked off yesterday with the premiere of the fourth and supposedly final Shrek movie. But you don’t care about that. You want to hear about the films that you’ll actually want to see. With nearly 200 of them screening, there is a dizzying array of choices sure to send any serious movie buff into an existential panic. It would be impossible to catch everything, but we’ve sussed out the five flicks you definitely don’t want to miss. Check them out and watch accompanying trailers after the jump.

1. Ondine

Neil Jordan‘s latest film is a fantastical tale of unlikely love and redemption. Colin Farrell is a fisherman who “catches” a beautiful sea woman in his net, transforming his life as well as his ailing daughter. But as the truth unravels, a darker underbelly is revealed that challenges the myth and forces characters to confront a stark reality. Sigur Ros’ hypnotically tranquil music provides the score for the eerily pleasing and deeply satisfying story that rivals Jordan’s best work.

2. Micmacs

A near death experience catapults a video store clerk on a zany adventure to bring unscrupulous arms dealers to justice, and along the way, he falls in love with a contortionist. Jean-Pierre Jeunet‘s caper is his strongest film to date, a rich visual experience with an equally engaging story exploring the collateral damage of war and a group of colorful misfits who hatch a plot to avert an impending World War by pitting two white collar thugs against each other and watching the sparks fly.

3. Metropia

Tarik Saleh‘s dystopic vision of the not-to-distant future is an animated Orwellian odyssey that imagines a shampoo company with the power of entering its consumers’ conscience, controlling all thought and desire. When an average worker disobeys these thoughts in pursuit of an alluring model he sees on the subway, the world order is thrown into disarray in a richly fantastical story that brings to mind the vision and scope of Blade Runner as well as Richard Linklater’s hyper-realistic animations — definitely meant to be seen on the big screen.

4. Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work

At 76, Joan Rivers is one of the hardest working comedians in the business, always looking for a new angle and to widen her appeal. Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg‘s absorbing documentary follows Rivers and her small entourage across the country from casinos in Wisconsin to showrooms in Vegas and even basement comedy clubs where the venerable diva tests out new material, including some raunchy sex jokes that made our heads spin with delight.

5. Please Give

Nicole Holofcener‘s latest work is an unflinching look at liberal guilt delivered with the fiery of early Neil LaBute. A couple eagerly but reluctantly awaits their elderly neighbor’s death so they can expand their apt into a dream house. The neighbors granddaughters (played with razor wit by Amanda Peet as the snarky and ill-named Mary and Rebecca Hall as her saintly sister who desperately needs to get into a little trouble) have an uneasy relationship with the couple but form an unlikely bond with their wise-beyond-her-years 15 year-old daughter.

The Tribeca Film Festival runs through May 2nd. Click here to browse the film guide.