The Tribeca Film Festival kicks off tonight with a few changes from years past. The schedule is a little leaner and tighter, and Sundance veteran Geoffrey Gilmore has just arrived at the fest's parent company, Tribeca Enterprises. Having just launched in 2002, the festival is still finding its identity. Good thing we're here to help it look! Cinematical's Erik Davis and yours truly will be covering the festival over the next week. In the meantime, here are seven films we're looking forward to.

Whatever Works
Woody Allen's latest comedy is exciting for two reasons. For one thing, it marks his return to New York after setting his last four films in Europe. For another thing, it stars Larry David, whose famed neurotic pessimism makes him a perfect match for Allen's style. This is Tribeca's opening-night film, accompanied by much ballyhoo and fanfare -- but for some reason, we lowly members of the press aren't able to attend. Our badges get us into most public screenings, but not this one. So, um, we're looking forward to it, and that's all we'll be able to do: look forward to it. It's the kind of situation Larry David would complain about before finding some way to make it worse for himself.



Departures
No one had ever heard of this Japanese comedy-drama -- about a cellist who returns to his rural hometown after his orchestra dissolves -- until it came from out of nowhere to win the Best Foreign Language Oscar. This will be most Americans' first chance to see what the Academy saw in it.



The Good Guy

Wall Street is so hot right now. Here's a comedy about an up-and-coming trader (Scott Porter) who might have shot himself in the foot by acting as mentor to a seemingly hapless coworker (Bryan Greenberg). Greed is still good, right?



Serious Moonlight

The screenplay was written by Adrienne Shelly (Waitress) before her tragic death, and has been directed by Waitress co-star Cheryl Hines. Meg Ryan plays a woman who holds her husband (Timothy Hutton) captive until he agrees to work on their disintegrating marriage; hilarity ensues.



Don McKay

Described as a "darkly comic thriller," this stars Thomas Haden Church as the title character, whose ex-girlfriend (Elisabeth Shue) urges him to come back to his hometown after 25 years. Sounds comic enough -- so where are the darkness and the thrills? We're intrigued.



Tell Tale
After addressing the creepy issue of adolescent sexuality in L.I.E. and Twelve and Holding, director Michael Cuesta turns to a different kind of creepiness in this story, inspired by Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart," about a heart-transplant recipient desperate to learn who killed his donor before the same fate befalls him.



Midgets vs. Mascots
We're sold on the title already, but we like the premise, too: a mockumentary in which a team of sports mascots and a team of little people battle for millions of dollars in prize money. It sounds offensive and insulting, which is why it's in the Midnight section, and why we're intrigued.