“TriBeCa what?” Oliver Platt said on opening night of the inaugural Montclair Film Festival.
Platt’s new movie “The Oranges,” which will be released in the fall, did not disappoint the crowd (which included Dave Matthews and, of course, Stephen Colbert) at the packed Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University. The hilarious movie opened the festival and had the audience laughing so hard, many lines were drowned out.
While Festival Co-Director Thom Powers said he wondered about opening the festival with a movie about adultery — and who knows how many suburban couples went home to discuss their happiness, or lack thereof — opening night and the choice of films was an unquestionable success.
Before the screening Powers talked about how the movie shows people in New Jersey gazing toward Manhattan, which he admitted deserved the attention it gets. But he ended with this, “This week and in subsequent years, we plan to turn the world’s gaze to New Jersey.
“Now, let the festival begin.”
After the final credits rolled, champagne corks popped off bottles in the theater’s lobby while Platt sat on stage discussing the movie and his life. He was funny, humble and gracious, calling it a “privilege” to be there.
“This is historic,” Platt said of the first screening in the first night of the first Montclair festival and the start of something the directors and board members hope becomes a big-time annual event. It seemed to go off without a hitch. Co-Director Raphaela Neihausen said there were 261 volunteers and all of them seemed to be there tonight, opening doors and trying to answer questions before they were even asked.
Neihausen said 18 events are soldout, but mentioned a few that still have tickets available — Wednesday’s Tribute to Kathleen Turner, Thursday’s screening of “Undefeated” among them.