The Critic’s Guide to Tribeca at Home: ‘Greetings From Tim Buckley’

Penn Badgley in 'Greeting from Tim Buckley' (Photo: Tribeca)

From April 17-28, celebrate the world-famous Tribeca Film Festival as editor David Onda helps you plan your own festival at home, featuring past and present Tribeca movies now available with XFINITY On Demand.

Tomorrow’s biggest stars are today’s film festival darlings, and that sentiment has rang truer every year since a 24-year-old director named Kevin Smith sold “Clerks” to Miramax before the dust settled at 1994’s Sundance.

In 2010, an unknown actress and filmaker named Lena Dunham debuted on the festival circuit while screening her acclaimed feature “Tiny Furniture.”

In 2011, the younger sister of the Olsen twins, Elizabeth Olsen, made her feature film debut in the critically acclaimed festival film “Martha Marcy May Marlene.”

And in 2012, moviegoers were introduced to Oscar nominee Quvenzhane Wallis as “Beasts of the Southern Wild” dazzled audiences at film fest screenings.

Could 2013 be the year that actor Penn Badgley, best known for his starring role on television’s “Gossip Girl,” transcends the small screen and claims his own piece of the Hollywood marquee? Critics seem to think so, and they’re touting his role in the Tribeca Film Festival entry “Greetings from Tim Buckley” as his break-out performance.

The movie, which debuts at Tribeca on April 23, but is available in your own home right now with XFINITY On Demand, is a semi-biographical account of late singer Jeff Buckley’s preparations for a 1991 tribute concert to his father, late folk singer Tim Buckley. At the age of 8, Jeff  met his famous father for the first and only time in his life. One year later, Tim died of a drug overdose at the age of 28. “Buckley” trades off between Jeff’s (played by Badgley) struggle for identity in the face of his public singing debut, and flashbacks of Tim’s (played by Ben Rosenfield) reckless life on the road, a life that ultimately shapes the destinies of two men at once.

The cast also includes up-and-comer Imogen Poots (“Fright Night”) as Jeff’s fictitious love interest and William Sadler (“Shawshank Redemption”) as Buckley guitarist Lee Underwood.

Click below to watch sneak peek of ‘Greetings from Tim Buckley’:
[iframe—Sneak-Peek/embed 580 476]

Reviews of “Tim Buckley” include praise from Hollywood Reporter critic Deborah Young, who complimented Badgley’s “vibrant break-out performance,” and added that the star “has a seductive energy that always seems to be about to go someplace dangerous.” Read Young’s full review here.

Check out more than 20 Tribeca films available with XFINITY On Demand

There’s a little bit of something for everyone in this film, but music fans young and old might find the journey particularly rewarding as “Buckley” bridges the gap between Tim’s ’60s folk music and Jeff’s ’90s alt-rock with the struggles of a father and son who, while barely family, still strive to understand their place in each other’s lives. Ultimately, this film is about family relationships, and at a palatable length of 104 minutes, you won’t ruin yours by keeping your teens away from their iPhones too long. Not recommended for kids under 14.

Keep your at-home festival going tonight with “Greetings from Tim Buckley” and post your reviews on Twitter (tweet your reviews to @XFINITY_TV and @david_onda) and Facebook. This may be the beginning of big things for Penn Badgley, and you’re right here at the start.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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