Film Festivals: Get Out Your Handkerchiefs
So you missed your chance. But why waste tears on regret? Sure, opening night at the Williamstown Film Festival and the ever-popular Saturday Night Sneak at the FilmColumbia Festival are both (predictably, at this late date) SOLD OUT. But there is still plenty of powerful hanky action to be wrung from the films being screened at two major festivals in the RI region this week.
Laughter: When was the last time a rom-com inspired you to stand up and cheer? That’s what audiences at the Toronto Film Festival did last May after the screening of Silver Linings Playbook, directed by David O. Russell and starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence (above). Find out why at 1:45 p.m. at the Crandell in Chatham on Sunday, October 21.
Tears: Any Day Now, playing at Images in Williamstown at 2:15 on Thursday afternoon, won the audience award for best narrative feature earlier this year at the Tribeca Film Festival. Set in 1970s Los Angeles, it is about a semi-closeted gay couple (the singer is out, the assistant D.A., naturally, in) and their struggle to legally adopt the sorely neglected, mentally-challenged boy next door. By all accounts, the boy is played with such effect that actor Isaac Leyva all but steals the picture from, among others, the always riveting Alan Cumming. Great music, too.
Wonder: Cloud Atlas, this sci-fi, fantasy, adventure drama based on a bestselling novel, is so sprawling that it required three directors (the Wachowski sibs of Matrix fame plus Tom Tykwer) to herd all those special effects and stars (Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Susan Sarandon, and Hugh Grant, to name but a few). The question remains: Did the audience at Toronto give this film a 10-minute standing ovation because of the big emotional payoff at the end? Or were they simply relieved that, after 3 hours stuck in their seats, they were finally allowed to stand up and make some noise? At the Crandell on Friday, October 19, 12:30 p.m.
Outrage: Love Orchard, a fiction film about the strife that is every illegal immigrant’s daily dread, is set on a farm that bears a striking resemblance to the Love Apple Farm on Route 9H in Columbia County. Written by that farm’s owner, Chris Loken (at left with director Farhad Mann and co-star Bruce Dern), and co-starring Loken’s daughter Kristanna Loken as the young attorney who defies her firm’s anti-immigration stance to take up one family’s particularly wrenching cause. Demand for tickets to this was such that the first screening immediately sold out, so FilmColumbia has scheduled a second one for Sunday night at the Morris Memorial Building at 6 p.m. —Marilyn Bethany