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The Architect - Preview

Anthony Lapaglia in The Architect

Preview by Jack Foley

THE forthcoming Tribeca Film Festival – run by Robert De Niro – is certain to attract a wealth of media interest given its decision to show United 93, Paul Greengrass’ controversial movie about the fourth hijacked plane on September 11, 2001.

Yet there will undoubtedly be plenty of other films that are equally worthy of attention during the event, including The Arthitect, based on the play by David Greig, and starring Anthony Lapaglia.

The film follows the fortunes of two Chicago families whose fortunes and futures come together. Lapaglia plays the architect of the title who lives with his depressed wife (Isabella Rossellini) in an expensive house on the north side of the city. Their daughter (Hayden Panettiere) is awkward in her newly developed body, while their son (Sebastian Stan) is confused by his sexuality.

In contrast, another mother (Viola Davis) is desperately attempting to keep her family safe from the drug and crime-infested other side of town. An activist, she resolves to tear down her housing project and enlists the help of the man who designed it – namely, Lapaglia.

In the ensuing days, the two families will come together with life-altering effects. The Tribeca Film Website describes The Architect as ‘a powerful and sophisticated urban drama’ that promises excellent performances from its ensemble cast.

Its screening in competition at Tribeca marks the world premiere of the film, which has been directed by Matt Tauber.

Needless to say, interest in the film should be high for fans of Lapaglia’s television work on the crime series, Without A Trace, which regularly attracts millions of viewers. Yet the versatile Australian is no stranger to the big screen, having starred alongside De Niro in the Analyse This/That movies, as well as in quality dramas such as Lantana a few years ago.

The film’s director, Tauber, meanwhile, is an award-winning stage director and founder of Chicago’s Kitchen Theatre Company. He most recently produced Sly Dog Films’ The Great New Wonderful, about reaction to the events of 9/11 and starring Maggie Gyllenhaal.

That film, which received its world premiere at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival, will now open theatrically in New York City on June 23 through First Independent Pictures and promises to provide an interesting alternative to the current crop of 9/11 movies that are focusing on the events of the day itself.

There is no word on a UK release date for The Architect as yet – although it should be interesting to see how it is received at Tribeca later this month (April).