Directed by Tim Blake Nelson

Credits: IFC Films
Credits: IFC Films

Tribeca Film Festival 2015

IFC Release January 8, 2016

(Some downloads may require a password. Please write us to <>)

If you are a Distributor or Festival programmer and would like to screen the film, please click here:

If you are inquiring about renting the film for Festival screening, educational purposes or for a non-for profit institution, please click here:

Credits: IFC Films © Anesthesia Holdings, LLC © 2015 IFC In Theatres, LLC


Multiple lives intersect in the aftermath of the violent mugging of a Columbia University philosophy professor.

A snowy New York City night, a beloved teacher, a shocking crime: this provocative drama pieces together the puzzle of a man’s life just before it changes forever. While on his way home one evening, Walter Zarrow (Sam Waterston), a popular Columbia University philosophy professor, is violently attacked on the street. Flash back one week, as actor-director Tim Blake Nelson traces the domino effect of events that led up to this seemingly senseless assault. Along the way, hidden connections between a seemingly disparate group of people—including a self-destructive student (Kristen Stewart), a hard-drinking suburban housewife (Gretchen Mol), and a desperate man (K. Todd Freeman)—emerge, forming a complex, engrossing mosaic of lost souls united by tragedy. The stellar ensemble cast includes Glenn Close and Michael K. Williams.



Drama/ Thriller, 90'

Glenn Close, Kristen Stewart, Sam Waterston, Corey Stoll, Michael K Williams, Tim Blake Nelson, Jessica Hecht, Gretchen Mol, K Todd Freeman, Gloria Reuben, Mickey Sumner, Yul Vazquez


Screenwriter: Tim Blake Nelson
Producer: Julie Buck, Josh Hetzler, Tim Blake Nelson, Christopher Scott, John Molli
Editor: Mako Kamitsuna
Cinematographer: Christina Voros
Executive Producer: Anthony J. Nicholson, Dennis Mykytyn, Houston King, Jonathan Gray
Composer: Jeff Danna
Co-Producer: Jessica Hong

About the Director

Tim Blake Nelson has established himself as a highly respected actor, writer, and director with an array of dramatic and comedic work both on screen and stage.


Previously, Nelson wrote, directed and produced Leaves of Grass, a dark comedy with Edward Norton, Keri Russell, Susan Sarandon, Richard Dreyfuss, and Nelson. The film premiered at the 2009 Toronto Film Festival, and was released theatrically by Millenium in August, 2010.  


In October 2002, Lionsgate released Nelson's third film as a writer/director, The Grey Zone, based on his award winning play. It is the dramatic story of the Sonderkommandos, a special squad of Jews who processed corpses in the crematoria at Birkenau. Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi, and Mira Sorvino starred in the film, which premiered at the 2001 Toronto Film Festival. The National Board of Review honored the film with its "Freedom of Expression” award in 2002.


In 2001, Nelson directed O, a contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello, which starred Martin Sheen, Julia Stiles, and Josh Hartnett, and won the award for Best Director at the 2001 Seattle Film Festival before being released widely by Lionsgate that same year.


In 1997, Nelson made his directorial debut with the film Eye of God, which he also wrote. The film appeared in competition at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival, and was released theatrically the same year. It won the top award at the 1997 Seattle Film Festival, as well as the Tokyo Bronze Prize at the '97 Tokyo Film Festival.


Nelson has acted in over 50 feature films, and has worked with some of Hollywood’s greatest filmmakers, including Terrence Malick in The Thin Red Line; Steven Speilberg in Lincoln (with Daniel Day Lewis) and Minority Report (opposite Tom Cruise); Mike Newell in Donnie Brasco; David Frankel in The Big Year (with Owen Wilson and Steve Martin); Steve Gagan in Syriana; Miguel Arteta in The Good Girl,and the Coen brothers in O Brother Where Art Thou?. Other films include James Franco’s adaptations of The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, Bukowski, and Child of God, Andy Davis's Holes (opposite Shia LeBeouf, John Voight and Sigourney Weaver), Tommy Lee Jones’s The Homesman, Kill the Messenger (with Jeremy Renner), The Incredible Hulk (with Edward Norton), and Meet the Fockers (opposite Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, and Robert DeNiro). This year, Nelson can be seen in the highly anticipated Fantastic Four for Fox, directed by Josh Trank, co-starring Kate Mara, Miles Teller, Jamie Bell and Michael B. Jordan. 


Tim has also acted extensively in New York theatre in plays including “The Beard of Avon”, “Mad Forest”, “Oedipus”, “Troilus and Cressida”, “Richard III”, and “Twelfth Night”among many others.


His playwriting credits include “The Grey Zone”, which won him Newsday's Oppenheimer Prize as well as Encore Magazine's “Taking Off” Award, “Eye of God”, and “Anadarko.”

Stay up to date! #AnesthesiaMovie