Eleven directors shot scripts by eleven writers in New York City. Two days of shooting was followed by seven days of editing. “Each story had to involve some kind of love encounter, broadly defined,” stipulated producer Emmanuel Benbihy, who is also credited as “Conceptor.” Tristan Carne is credited with the premise for this “collective” film. Paris was the locale for the earlier “Paris, I Love You.” Rio, Shanghai, Jerusalem and Mumbai are scheduled for future iterations. Several of the short stories in “New York, I Love You” are marvels of craft and tone, and even the weakest—directed by Yvan Attal, Allen Hughes and Brett Ratner—are quite watchable. Mira Nair directs Suketu Mehta’s touching transaction between an Indian Jain (Irrfan Khan) and a Hasidic Jew (Natalie Portman) in the Diamond District. Shekhar Kapur directs a comparably poignant encounter in a deluxe hotel scripted by Anthony Minghella between an aging diva (Julie Christie) and a deformed porter (Shia LaBeouf). Taxis make for recurring locales. Characters include a Dostoevsky fan, a method actor, an NYU professor, a painter, a pharmacist, a pickpocket, a prom date, a prostitute, a soundtrack composer, and a wandering videographer played by Emilie Ohana supplying transitions and a sweet coda. With Carlos Acosta, Orlando Bloom, James Caan, Hayden Christensen, Bradley Cooper, Chris Cooper, Ethan Hawke, John Hurt, Cloris Leachman, Robin Wright Penn, Maggie Q, Shu Qi, Christina Ricci, Olivia Thilrlby, Anton Yelchin, Ugur Yucel, and Eli Wallach. 110m. (Bill Stamets)
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His multimedia history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” will be published later this year.