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Tribeca FF 2014 Films, On Your Radar: Alex of Venice
by Kathryn Loggins

Alex of Venice is a feature film about Alex (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a young workaholic mother, wife and daughter living in Venice Beach, California. Her life might be stressful and chaotic as an environmental attorney, but she seems to have a good grip on things until her husband George (Chris Messina) decides that he wants to take a break. He basically just leaves her on the spot and Alex is left to juggle her career, her son and her father (Don Johnson) all by herself. The performances from the actors are what make this film compelling to watch, even though the overall pacing is a little slow. The characters come alive on screen and are extremely relatable, which helps drive the story and makes the film interesting.

This feature film marks the directorial debut of Chris Messina, who is known for his acting career and has appeared in such films as The Giant Mechanical Man (TFF 2012), Vicky Christina Barcelona and Argo. He does play a supporting role in Alex of Venice, but this was not originally planned. Based on the interview with the cast after the showing of the film, Chris Messina was somewhat forced into playing the role of George. He wanted to focus solely on directing for this project, but sometimes projects don't always work out the way you want. Ultimately he delivers a fine acting performance and presents a beautifully directed film.