Monday, September 26, 2022

Masterful ‘Motherless Brooklyn’ Closed NYFF57 and Wowed the Crowd

Director and star of “Motherless Brooklyn,” Edward Norton, introduces Wynton Marsalis to stage at NYFF57 Premiere Party at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York.  (MMoore Photo)

*Saving the best for last, the masterful and captivating “Motherless Brooklyn” closed this year’s New York Film Festival (NYFF57) with thunderous applause.

The movie takes place in the 1950s, but the story could be ripped from today’s headlines. Racism, crime, corruption at the top, and gentrification is at the core of the film.

Alec Baldwin plays the incorrigible Moses Randolph, based on New York’s “master builder” Robert Moses. Moses’ public works caused the evictions of and uprooting of a half million lower-income citizens who stood in his way. Entire neighborhoods were bulldozed out of existence as Moses formed an elitist model of the city that helped entrench poverty.

“Motherless Brooklyn” Closing Night NYFF Premiere. (L-R) Bobby Cannavale, Willem Defoe, Gugu Mbatha -Raw, Josh Paisand, Bruce Willis, and Edward Norton. Copyright: © 2019 Warner Bros. Ent. All Rights Reserved

Moses was even said to have ordered engineers to lower the bridges over the Southern State Parkway on Long Island to keep buses carrying minorities from traveling to the beaches. All of this is played out in “Motherless Brooklyn,” as well as the bound that develops between Harlem activist Laura Rose (Gugu Mbatha-Raw).

Prior to the screening of “Motherless Brooklyn” at Lincoln Center, cast members walked the red carpet. Following the Film at Lincoln Center  (FLC) premier, lucky ticket holders of the Closing Night Party Pass headed to Jazz at Lincoln Center. There, director and star Edward Norton introduced friend and iconic trumpeter, Wynton Marsalis, to the stage. Marsalis’ performance was apropos to the evening’s celebration.

(L-r) Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Edward Norton on a Harlem Street in Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Motherless Brooklyn,”  a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

In “Motherless Brooklyn,” Edward Norton plays the lonely private detective Lionel Essrog, living with Tourette Syndrome. Jazz not only helps soothe Lionel’s rattled brain, but he connects with Trumpet Man (Michael Kenneth Williams), who helps him on his journey to solve his best friend’s murder. Watching Williams’ fine performance brought to mind Miles Davis. “Motherless Brooklyn” is in theaters Nov. 1.       Twitter: @thefilmstrip

Marie Moore
Veteran syndicated journalist who covers film and television.



  1. This is an excellent film. Saw a screening Monday even with a pack house and everyone seemed to love the film.

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