I just returned from my third annual trip to the Nantucket Film Festival, and once again it was everything I could ask for and more. In around five days I managed to squeeze in 18 films, four filmmaker/writer panels, two Chris Matthews interviews (of Bradley Whitford and Aaron Sorkin), a comedy roundtable (moderated by Michael Ian Black and Ben Stiller, and with panelists Jenny Slate, Billy Eichner, and John C Daly), a staged reading of a TV pilot set in Nantucket, two parties, and a Writers Guild meet and greet. I accidentally sat next to two great actors (and fantastic guys), Bradley Whitford and Mark Duplass, at a film and a panel, respectively. There were surprise appearances by Ben Stiller, who wasn't expected to be there this year, and Mark Ruffalo. I met up and bumped into friends from past festivals and made new ones. I stayed in the same room at the same B&B (The Barnacle Inn) I have for the past two years. I ate poorly, didn't sleep much, and got more sun than I'm used to. And, most importantly, I had a ton of fun and miss it already. Let's do it all again in 51 weeks!
Below is a summary of my grades for the 18 films I saw, as well as a few pictures. I'll write more about these films once they are available to you in theaters or on Video on Demand.
Boyhood Grade: A+ (opening in limited theatrical release beginning 7/11)
Gabriel Grade: A
The One I Love Grade: A (opening in limited theatrical release beginning 8/15)
I Origins Grade: A (opening in limited theatrical release beginning 7/18)
The Heart Machine Grade: A
Rich Hill Grade: A- (opening in limited theatrical release beginning 8/1)
Break Point Grade: A-
Life Itself Grade: B+ (opening in limited theatrical and Video on Demand on 7/4)
Begin Again Grade: B+ (now in limited theatrical release)
The Skeleton Twins Grade: B+ (opening in limited theatrical release on 9/19)
Sounding the Alarm Grade: B
We'll Never Have Paris Grade: B
Arlo & Julie Grade: B
Land Ho! Grade: B (opening in limited theatrical release beginning 7/11)
Kumiko the Treasure Hunter Grade: B
10.000 Km Grade: B
Creep Grade: B-
Warren Grade: C-
(I also attempted to watch the documentary Last Days in Vietnam, the audience award winner, but just wasn't in a Vietnam-y kind of mood so I left and had breakfast instead. There's only so much Henry Kissenger one can take in the morning while on vacation. I'll have to catch that another time once it's released on 9/5.)
The Dreamland theater, the main venue of the festival, and my second home.
Chris Matthews interviews Bradley Whitford
Chris Matthews interviews Aaron Sorkin
Mark Ruffalo surprises us with a pre-movie Q&A for 'Begin Again'
Mark Duplass and Susanna Fogel discussing their films at the Morning Coffee With ... panel