Ensemble cast numbs pain of life in ‘Anesthesia’ at Tribeca

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: An ensemble cast led by actors Sam Waterston, Glenn Close and Kristen Stewart numb themselves to the challenges and disappointments of life in “Anesthesia,”

Ensemble cast numbs pain of life in ‘Anesthesia’ at Tribeca

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)

STORY: An ensemble cast led by actors Sam Waterston, Glenn Close and Kristen Stewart numb themselves to the challenges and disappointments of life in “Anesthesia,” an indie drama about how a violent act connects the lives of disparate people.

The film, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival Wednesday (April 22) and is set in New York City, shows the pain and loneliness of some of the city’s occupants.

Waterston is the kind, gentle Columbia University philosophy professor Walter Zarrow whose mugging outside an apartment building in the opening scenes unleashes a series of past events that led up to it.

The film flashes back in time to reveal the lives and relationships of the people in some way impacted by vicious attack.

“Anesthesia” is the fifth feature film by writer-director Tim Blake Nelson, who also plays Waterston’s son. It is a film he said he wanted to make since moving to New York in the 1980s but wasn’t ready to until now.

Nelson said the story came from his environment.

“Looking around New York right now as a guy who has lived here 20 years and trying to write about smart people trying to figure out how to live healthily lives,” said Nelson.

An Oscar-nominated actor for 1984’s “The Killing Fields,” Waterston said he felt like someone had been reading his mind when he read the script and that the film is perfect for Tribeca.

“I think what the Tribeca Film Festival has done for the city is just great, so. And it’s a New York movie, where else but here should it be?”

“I mean, I’ve lived in New York since 1974, I stated my career here. This is a deeply New York film. It’s a deeply human film. I’m in it because I really loved the script, I have a really small part. I was very happy to be part of that experience and the fact that it’s opening and being seen for the first time here in Tribeca I think is perfect,” added Close.

The cast includes Michael K. Williams, Jessica Hecht, Gretchen Mol, Gloria Reuben, Corey Stoll and K. Todd Freeman.

Each character has their own way of coping. In a mesmerizing performance, Stewart plays a desperately lonely, self-harming student. Freeman is a drug addict who cannot kick his habit, and Williams is his lawyer friend who tries to help.

Mol is the wine-drinking, suburban housewife and Corey Stoll plays her philandering husband.

“It’s about these people who are universal and their lives intertwining. And then it ends – they all come together in a very sort of poignant way,” said Mol.

Screen International said the “finely acted, tender, drama is one of the surprises of the Tribeca Film Festival.”

“It is a movie about the unlikely but inevitable coherence of modern life and how it is more important than ever that we recognize how close we are to one another,” said Nelson, “and how much we depend on one another, even though in all likelihood the majority of us will be strangers.”

Tags : Tribeca, Anesthesia, life, pain, Numbs, cast, Ensemble

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