April 20, 2012
Director: David Grubin
MPAA Rating: N/A
Screenwriters: David Grubin, Kathleen Cahill
Starring: Philippe Quint, Nellie McKay
Copyright Holder: N/A
Set in the world of Russian immigrants living in New York City, "Downtown Express" uses music to explore the clash of old world values against the lure and excitement of a new country. Under the watch of his loving but overbearing father, virtuoso violinist and Juilliard student Sasha (Grammy nominee Philippe Quint) prepares for a critical recital meant to launch his career. Yet, he is increasingly drawn to the rhythms of the streets of New York, and when he meets singer-songwriter Ramona (acclaimed recording artist Nellie McKay), he joins her band, falls in love, and begins to lead a double life, careening frantically between two worlds. As his classical debut nears, Sasha must decide whether to break with his father and forge his own destiny. The film stars two acclaimed musicians: Philippe Quint, a world-renowned, classical violinist, and Nellie McKay, a singer-songwriter whose songs, part jazz, part sparkly pop, are noted for their wit and quirky humor. Quint’s role in Downtown Express marks the first time that a classical musician has been featured as the lead in an American film.