The centerpiece film is Jason Reitman’s much buzzed Juno, written by Midwestern girl turned stripper turned author turned screenwriter Diablo Cody. It stars Ellen Page (Hard Candy) and Michael Cera (Arrested Development, Superbad).
There will be a tribute to Laura Linney on November 9th followed by a screening of The Savages co-starring Philip Seymour Hoffman. On November 10th, there will be a tribute to Catherine Deneuve preceding a screening of the new French animated film Persepolis (voiced by Deneuve).
The festival closes November 11th with the North American premiere of Love in the Time of Cholera, directed by Mike Newell, starring Javier Bardem, based upon the novel by Gabriel García Márquez.
In total, 37 different countries are represented by 69 narrative features, 28 documentary features, 43 narrative shorts and 8 documentary shorts.
7 films are making their world premieres including:
- the Argentinian film Manuela Y Manuel
- Noise starring Tim Robbins
- the documentaries Public Enemy: Welcome to the Terrordome and
- Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story.
17 films are making their North American premieres. Besides the opening and closing films, this list includes:
- Lynch (a documentary about the making of Inland Empire)
- Alex Cox’s new film Searchers 2.0
- The Year of the Nail, the directorial debut of Alfonso Cuarón’s son Jonás.
18 films are making their U.S. premieres including:
- Jacques Rivette’s The Duchess of Langeais
- Catherine Breillat’s The Last Mistress
- Johnny To’s Mad Detective
Some of the other notable screenings include:
- Julien Schnabel’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
- John Sayles’ Honeydripper
- Noah Baumbach’s Margot at the Wedding
- Richard Kelly’s re-edited Southland Tales
- Greg Araki’s Smiley Face
- 2007 Cannes Palme d’Or winner from Romania 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
- Deficit, the directorial debut of actor Gael Garcia Bernal
- The Band’s Visit, the well regarded film from Israel which was recently denied Foreign Language Oscar consideration because too much of it is in English
- 2 new films from Wayne Wang: A Thousand Years of Good Prayers and Princess of Nebraska.
There are dozens of other films by people I’m not familiar with from countries I’ve never visited and I hope to take a healthy sample of them during the festival’s run. I’ll be skipping the opening and closing films because I’m not that excited about them and I’d rather spend my energies elsewhere.
If all goes well, I probably won’t be writing about anything but the festival for a week or so once it kicks off, though No Country For Old Men opens on November 9th so I’ll have to make time for that. I’ll still be doing the usual Weekend Forecast and hopefully a contest or two.