Adrift in Manhattan


Bottom 40% of all time (see others with this rank)

Festival Year

2007 (click here to see all competition films from this year)


Dramatic Competition


Heather Graham, Victor Rasuk, Dominic Chianese, William Baldwin, Elizabeth Peña, Marlene Forte, Richard Petrocelli, Erika Michels

Non-Cast Credits

Nat Moss, Alfredo de Villa, Steven J. Brown, Josh Blum, Ian Jessel, John Foster, John Coniglio, Charlotte Bourke, Julia Mitchelle Santiago


A lush meditation on isolation and intersection in the big city, Alfredo de Villa's Adrift in Manhattan is the layered story of three characters who find courage to move to the next stage of life through profound encounters with strangers they meet on their daily routes.

Rose, an optometrist paralyzed by crushing grief after the death of her infant, has built a wall around herself, unable to relate to her estranged husband or anyone else. When an elderly patient, a painter losing his eyesight, begins to visit her office unannounced, Rose registers how alone he is, urging him to reach out and ask for help--something neither does easily. Meanwhile Simon, a late-blooming teenager with an overbearing mother, photographs people at a distance with a borrowed long lens. One day, Rose, beautiful and melancholy in a vibrant scarf, comes into focus in his camera sight. The pictures he shoots become a conduit for each of them to touch something deep within and expand their confining existence.

With raw, exacting performances by a top-notch cast, including Heather Graham, Dominic Chianese, Elizabeth Peña, and Victor Rasuk (of Raising Victor Vargas fame), Adrift in Manhattan wields fertile metaphors and a sophisticated sense of psychology to penetrate the subtle process of human transformation and the possibilities for meaningful interchange lying dormant in contemporary urban life.


Caroline Libresco (see other films reviewed by the same reviewer)

Film Takes Pace.