Tribeca 2024 Review: SACRAMENTO, A Different Kind of Fury Road

Michael Cera, Kristen Stewart, Michael Angarano, and Maya Erskine star; Michael Angarano directed.

Contributing Writer
Tribeca 2024 Review: SACRAMENTO, A Different Kind of Fury Road

The topic of growing up and simultaneously growing apart with people previously closest to you seems to be very on brand these days, as several films at the Tribeca Film Festival presented some version of it.

In this sense, Michael Angarano’s Sacramento makes an interesting pair to Delaney Buffett’s Adult Best Friends. There, the main characters with different life styles at least attempt to keep the friendship spark alive. In Angarano’s second feature, at the beginning of the film, it seems like not even Jeffrey Combs could reanimate the central relationship.

We start with Angarano’s Ricky as an almost perfect romantic lead and partner to Tallie (Maya Erskine, wonderful as always) whom he meets during a hike when she compliments his dick. We then abruptly cut to one year later, where we are introduced to Glenn (Michael Cera) and the state of his affairs.

Glenn is married to Rosie (Kristen Stewart) and they are about to become parents for the first time. He is also probably about to get sacked at work, sending him into even more of a spiral than he already is. Meanwhile, we revisit with Ricky who has spent the last year in a grief support group after his father’s death, but now isn’t even welcome there.

Ricky wants to reconnect with his best friend Glenn who, upon seeing him, promptly tries to hide by the kitchen sink. They end up going to lunch together, mostly at the insistence of Rosie who is the steady voice of reason and calm in Glenn’s life, and then to titular Sacramento, mostly because Ricky is shamelessly lying to his friend.

You can say that Sacramento is a quintessential indie film -- directed by an established actor, with a screenplay carefully developed over many years (by Angarano together with Chris Smith), and filled with the cast who all feel incredibly organic in their respective roles. The characters suffering from one form of anxiety or the other and generally spending a lot of screen time talking, might seem familiar too, not only because you might have seen someone like this in some other film, but because a lot of what's in the script evidently comes off as universal real life experience.

Which just makes the story even more genuinely funny and genuinely, authentically human. While it would be easy to cast Glenn as the stuck-up half of a duo and Ricky as the charming hedonistic loser, both characters turn out more complex (and entertaining) than that.

One of the most attractive features of Angarano’s film is that the topics that start off as being used for laughs (quite effectively so) aren’t treated lightly in the end. Sacramento does start off as yet another story about the inevitable change in life, but evolves into a much bigger conversation about mental health and the necessity of checking in with yourself and your close ones.

The performances help ground the narrative, especially that of Cera, who gives out one of the best bouts of his patented anxious energy; Kristen Stewart and Maya Erskine steal the show a bit in their brief scenes. Even the slight tonal shift that happens towards the end works towards the same realistic effect – after all, life also rarely sticks to just one genre at a time.

The film enjoyed its world premiere at the 2024 Tribeca Festival


  • Michael Angarano
  • Michael Angarano
  • Christopher Nicholas Smith
  • Kristen Stewart
  • Rosalind Chao
  • Maya Erskine
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Kristen StewartMaya ErskineMichael AngaranoMichael CeraTribeca 2024Tribeca FestivalChristopher Nicholas SmithRosalind ChaoComedy

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