The Song Is You: The Fantastic Mistaken for Strangers Opens Tribeca Film Festival, Reveals Ultimate Sibling Rivalry Story
We did not expect to love Mistaken for Strangers, the “self-mockumentary” that premiered last night at the opening of the Tribeca Film Festival. Directed by Tom Berninger, whose brother Matt is the lead singer of the band The National, the film explores the trials and tribulations of sibling rivalry after Tom is invited to go on tour as a roadie for his brother’s band. We were expecting a lot of fawning adulation over the indie group, who were slated to perform after the show at the High Line Ballroom.
The film managed to defy every preconception we had, however, and might just be the best documentary we’ve seen all year. Less about the band than the younger Berninger’s frustrations at living in the shadow of a much more beloved and successful older brother, it should be required viewing for every younger sibling or black sheep of the family.
Without giving anything away, however, the film’s viewpoint had one unfortunate side effect: we left the theater kind of hating The National front man for coming off so callous toward his brother’s plight. And we left the movie wondering: would this mean that the audience wouldn’t be psyched to see the band perform at the after-party? And since both brothers shared a writing credit for Strangers, how much stock should we put in the “reality” of the film? Read More