I’m pleading with you pretty directly, so you have to do it
By Gabe Nisker
Premiering at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, Adam Leon’s second feature Tramps is an unassuming film. And maybe it makes sense that it dropped on Netflix today pretty quietly. But that’s not to say it isn’t special — it is.
Leon’s first film premiered internationally at Cannes after a SXSW premiere in the US. It’s called Gimme The Loot and it’s a pretty good movie about two friends — graffiti artists — who plan to tag the Citi Field Home Run Apple, the statue that pops up when the Mets hit a homer. It’s pretty unassuming, too, actually — now that I think about it again.
And that’s what Leon is so good at. There’s a quiet nature to his movies, even as the premises have everyday people doing not-always-everyday things. The camera moves slickly and smartly — we get pans and dollies but we often get these documentary-like shots of city streets, of lots of people and of everyday things happening (and of the film’s own characters!)
That’s what makes both of Leon’s films so realistic…or at least real-feeling. There’s an innate sense of personality to them — his films have characters you think you know or maybe they feel like you. They feel right.
Tramps is the movie that happens when a guy has to make sure a briefcase gets into the right hands (because his brother can’t do it like originally intended, he’s in prison) and a girl has to make some money so she’s the driver.
That’s how they meet but Callum Turner and Grace Van Patten, the film’s leads, are super charming together and it makes Tramps a joy to watch.
I tried to get to a screening of this at the film festival last year — I heard about it too late and I couldn’t get in. I’m happy I found the end product. I’m happy Netflix gave it a home. Leon’s a good filmmaker and the films he makes are good (I don’t think that’s really the same thing, even if you think it is). So, watch them, please. I’m begging you. Let him make more.