By William Wolf

NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL OPENING NIGHT PARTY RETURNS TO TAVERN ON THE GREEN  Send This Review to a Friend

It was like old times at the 52nd New York Film Festival’s opening night party, which was back at the Tavern on on the Green, the location where Festival opening nights were celebrated for many years. After the Tavern ownership changed and the Central Park landmark restaurant was closed for renovation, the Festival marked its openings with parties at The Harvard Club.

On this occasion (September 26, 2014) invited Festival-goers trekked or rode up the pathway at Central Park West and 67th Street to the recently re-opened restaurant, and by midnight the place was crowded with guests, many talking about the opening night film they had just seen, “Gone Girl.” (See Special Reports and Film sections for review.)

So what does the new Tavern look like? Old timers who hadn’t been there since the re-opening prowled around to note changes and compare the old with the revamped. One thing was obvious: The outdoor space was newly attractive, opened up to embrace the main portion of the restaurant. The weather was friendly, so that outdoor gathering worked very well. Food tables manned by servers and the bar areas were busy. There were also indoor areas reserved for special guests. Most of the overheard comments agreed that the new set-up was attractive and pleasing, but some inevitably preferred the original.

I recall some parties at the Tavern of old where some overheard comments were hostile to opening night films of a sort destined to divide audience reactions. But in so far as I could determine, the word on “Gone Girl” was mainly favorable.

There had to be multiple showings to accommodate the opening-nighters. The Festival continues through October 12, with many premieres scheduled, as well as an assortment of special events. The Festival is presented annually by the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Posted September 27, 2014.

  

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