Tribeca Film Festival 2019: Elijah Wood, Zoey Deutch and More of Our Favorite Performances

Tribeca 2019
Gyora Beach / Guy Godfree / TFF / Cailin Yatsko

Whether it's a rising star turning heads or an established actor getting overdue attention, these are our favorite performances.

With the Tribeca Film Festival coming to a close, the winners of the juried prizes -- including Best Actor and Best Actress in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film -- were announced. The top two acting prizes went to Haley Bennett for Swallow and Wendall Pierce for Burning Cane, which was also named Best Narrative Feature. 

This year's jury, responsible for awarding prizes in the U.S., International, and Documentary categories, as well as the Nora Ephron Prize, included Angela Bassett, Chloe Sevigny, Debra Messing, Famke Janssen, Justin Long, Phoebe Robinson, Tig Notaro and Topher Grace

In addition to the jury's selection of their top performances -- see the full list of winners below -- we rounded up some of our own favorites from this year's festival, which include rising stars turning heads and established actors getting overdue attention. 

Annette O'Toole, June Squibb and Margo Martindale in Blow the Man Down

Jeong "JP" Park

While this offbeat noir follows two sisters who come across a dead body shortly after the death of their own mother, it’s the trio of veteran actresses -- Annette O'Toole, June Squibb and Margo Martindale -- who run away with the film. Martindale is as ferocious as ever as a matriarch of town’s secret bordello, while Squibb and O’Toole deliver terrific performances as friends of the sisters’ late mother with secrets of their own. While the film hits some snags on the way to solving this mystery, the women never fall short, making the journey worth every moment of their screen time. (Film Info)

Brian Dennehy in Driveways

Ki Jin Kim

Directed by budding filmmaker Andrew Ahn, this understated film follows a shy boy (Lucas Jaye) who moves into his late aunt’s house with his mother (Hong Chau). During their stay, he forms an unexpected friendship with a retiree (Brian Dennehy) living next door. The success of the film hinges on the chemistry between Jaye and Dennehy, who both excel at bringing this relationship to life onscreen. Ultimately, the second half of the movie proves to be a quiet victory lap for Dennehy, who, at 80, has done just about everything in his award-winning screen and stage career. (Film Info)  

Elijah Wood in Come to Daddy

Jamie Leigh Gianopoulos

While Tribeca's Midnight slate is not always for everyone, Come to Daddy was an unexpected delight, with Elijah Wood proving why he’s one of Hollywood's most underrated actors. In the film, Wood plays Norvel, a man who finds himself reconnecting with his father after receiving an unexpected invitation to spend time with him. However, a happy reunion is not what unfolds in this grindhouse-style horror flick. Wood’s performance -- enhanced by his wide blue eyes -- keeps things together, even when the film is in danger of going off the rails. (Film Info

Haley Bennett in Swallow

Katelin Arizmendi

In the film written and directed by Carlo Mirabella-Davis, Haley Bennett plays Hunter, a newly pregnant housewife who becomes quickly obsessed with consuming dangerous objects. It's hard to take your eyes off the actress, thanks to her engaging presence onscreen. After several supporting roles in The Girl on the Train, The Magnificent Seven and Thank You for Your Service, Bennett makes good on her promise with a haunting leading performance here. With upcoming movies alongside Chris Evans, Tom Holland and Amy Adams, we'll be seeing plenty more of Bennett in the next two years. (Film Info

Hong Chau in American Woman

Greg Middleton

After earning an Oscar nomination for her supporting role in Downsizing, Chau gets to shine as the lead of two films, Driveways (see above) and American Woman, premiering at the festival. In the latter, she plays a former radical, whose levels of impatience are tested when she is tasked with watching after three fugitives in a fictionalized version of the Patty Hearst kidnapping. "The script for American Woman stood out because there was something so sensual about the writing," Chau said of the film. "Even though it's inspired by a famous event, I didn't know where the story would go." (Film Info)

Kate Berlant in Safe Spaces

Gregory Wilson

While Justin Long stars in this dramedy about a young professor facing a #MeToo controversy and grappling with his grandmother’s illness, Kate Berlant steals every scene she’s in as Long’s on-screen sister. The comedian has become a TV favorite thanks to appearances in The Other Two, High Maintenance, and Search Party, as well as the film Sorry to Bother You. Here’s hoping this leads to even more scene-stealing, laugh-out-loud roles. (Film Info)

Marika Engelhardt in Knives and Skin

Tribeca Film Festival

In writer and director Jennifer Reeder's color-saturated teen noir, a high school coed goes missing, sending shock waves through a small town filled. The film is fronted by an ensemble of promising young actresses, whose twisted characters fall in line with the likes of Brick, Donnie DarkoJawbreaker and Mean Girls. But it's Marika Engelhardt -- a working actress seen in episodes of Easy, Empire and Chicago Med -- who really shines as a distraught music teacher and mother of the missing teen. Her performance is both funny and painful to watch. (Film Info)    

Sabrina Carpenter in The Short History of the Long Road

Cailin Yatsko

After making a name for herself with roles on Disney Channel's Adventures in Babysitting and Girl Meets World, 19-year-old Sabrina Carpenter is maturing into more adult roles with The Hate U Give and this Tribeca world premiere. In the film, the actress plays Nola, the teenage daughter of a vagabond who lives life on the road and as a constant outsider, realizing that there may be more than a rootless existence. "I've been waiting to do something like this for so long," she said of the role, which required her to undergo a dramatic physical makeover onscreen. "I think I was able to really find Nola through that physical transformation." (Film Info)

Stav Strashko in Flawless

Gyora Beach

Model and actress Stav Strashko is at the center of this Israeli film about three teenage girls in search of physical perfection who turn to the dark world of black-market plastic surgery. Strashko earned an Ophir Award nomination for Best Actress -- Israel’s equivalent to the Oscars -- for her striking portrayal of a closeted transgender girl who risks exposing her secret in order to fit in with the ideals of her peers. While this is her first major feature film role, there’s no doubting she’s an acting talent on the rise. (Film Info)

Sydney Sweeney in Clementine

Property of Clementine Movie LLC

The hauntingly hypnotic psychological drama, in which she plays a provocative young woman, is the latest showcase for Sweeney, a rising actress who has garnered attention for her back-to-back TV roles in Everything Sucks, The Handmaid's Tale and Sharp Objects. "I loved the mystery behind her. You weren't quite sure how she was, where she came from or who she was," Sweeney said of her character, Lana. "Then all of a sudden, after this crazy relationship [that unfolds between the film's two women], you realize she's just another lost girl." Sweeney’s meteoric rise continues with HBO's Euphoria, premiering in June, and a supporting role in Quentin Tarantino's star-studded film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. (Film Info)

Zoey Deutch in Buffaloed 

Guy Godfree

In Buffaloed, Zoey Deutch plays a young woman whose financial schemes lead her to the world debt collecting. "To become what you never in a million years ever wanted to become and coming out on the other side of that is a complex journey," Deutch said of the part. While the actress has been getting better and better with each role -- Before I Fall, Everybody Wants Some!!, Why Him? and The Year of Spectacular Men -- the role of Peg is one of those fun, star-making turns that will be hard for people not to pay attention to. (Film Info)

All showtimes and movie information can be found at Be sure to check out ET’s coverage of the Tribeca Film Festival, which runs April 24 to May 5. See below for the full list of the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival juried prizes: 

Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature: Burning Cane

Best Actress in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film: Haley Bennett, Swallow

Best Actor in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film: Wendell Pierce, Burning Cane

Best Cinematography in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film: Phillip Youmans, Burning Cane 

Best Screenplay in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film: Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy, Blow the Man Down

Best International Narrative Feature: House of Hummingbird (Beol-sae)

Best Actress in an International Narrative Feature Film: Ji-hu Park, House of Hummingbird (Beol-sae)  

Best Actor in an International Narrative Feature Film: Ali Atay, Noah Land (Nuh Tepesi)

Best Cinematography in an International Narrative Feature Film: Kang Gook-hyun, House of Hummingbird (Beol-sae)

Best Screenplay in an International Narrative Feature Film: Cenk Ertürk, Noah Land (Nuh Tepesi)  

Best Documentary Feature: Scheme Birds  

Best Cinematography in a Documentary Film: Yang Sun, Shuang Liang, Our Time Machine 

Best Editing in a Documentary Film: Jennifer Tiexiera, 17 Blocks  

Best New Narrative Director: Edgar Nito, The Gasoline Thieves (Huachicolero) 

Albert Maysles New Documentary Director Award: Scheme Birds 

Best Narrative Short: Maja  

Shorts Animation Award: My Mother's Eyes  

Best Documentary Short: Learning To Skateboard In a Warzone (If You're A Girl) 

Student Visionary Award: Jebel Banat

Storyscapes Award: The Key 

The Nora Ephron Award: Rania Attieh, Initials S.G.