Last week, I explained that the Tribeca Film Festival is in NYC from April 22 – May 3rd and is a great annual cultural event. This past weekend, I got the opportunity to see the premiere of Queen to Play, a movie about an inquisitive French Riviera hotel maid (Sandrine Bonnaire) who becomes entranced by the game of chess. Tired of her boring life, she quickly cultivates her curiosity for the game into an obsession. Her working-class husband doesn’t share her fascination with the game, so she employs the help of the American retired doctor (Kevin Kline) whose house she cleans a few times a week. As her passion for the game increases, her natural talent and hard work lead her to a chance at a championship and a new shot at life.
I enjoyed watching the movie, but was more excited with the NYC Tribeca Film Festival experience of attending the premier. The director introduced the film at the beginning and described why she adapted the book into a movie. There was a red carpet event including the film’s director and actors – Kevin Kline & Sandrine Bonnaire (French actress). Kevin Kline & his wife Phoebe Cates (you may remember her from Fast Times at Ridgemont High) sat two rows behind us, and I was able to see his expressions as he watched the film for the first time. At the conclusion of the movie, there was a Q & A session with the stars of the film. Of course, I had to ask Kevin Kline if he knew how to play chess prior to the film. The always-charismatic & witty Kline replied that he “is no Grand Master”, but had played in the past and greatly improved his game during the filming of this movie.
My camera phone does not take the best pictures, but above is a picture of me and Phoebe Cates as well as a picture of me, Kevin Kline, and Sandrine Bonnaire. As usual, the Tribeca Film Festival delivers as an awesome NYC experience!