Our summer movie series Tribeca Film Presents continues Friday at 10:00 p.m. on MSG Network with 2012's Collaborator, a crackling black comedy written and directed by the forever-reliable everyman actor Martin Donovan, who you'll probably most remember as Nancy Botwin's doomed DEA boyfriend on Weeds, but who's also delivered characteristically skillful film performances in The Portrait of a Lady and The Opposite of Sex.
Collaborator tells the fiercely funny tale of two childhood friends — Robert (Donovan), a once-famous playwright, and Gus (David Morse), a mentally-ill ex-con still living with his mother — whose drunken hometown reunion takes a surprising twist when Gus takes Robert hostage. Donovan gathered a great cast of fellow underrated, always-welcome character actors for his filmmaking debut, including David Morse (Dancer in the Dark, Down in the Valley), Olivia Williams (The Ghost Writer, The Sixth Sense), and Katherine Helmond (Brazil, Who's the Boss?).
Collaborator is a short but delectably blended meal of scathing humor and taut thriller, combining the tightness of a stage play with the up-close, observational specificity of indie moviemaking, with a great cast and slow-burning surprises to boot. What more do you require?