The Virginia Film Festival announced today that it is adding five highly anticipated films to its 25th-anniversary program, putting an exclamation point on a remarkable collection of more than 120 films to be presented from Nov. 1-4 in Charlottesville.
The Virginia Film Festival is presented by the University of Virginia’s College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
Festival director Jody Kielbasa announced that the David O. Russell film, “Silver Linings Playbook,” will be this year’s centerpiece film, with a 7 p.m. screening on Nov. 3 in the Paramount Theater. Bradley Cooper and Academy Award-winner Jennifer Lawrence head a cast that also includes Robert DeNiro and Julia Stiles in the story of a man whose efforts to rebuild his life after losing everything are complicated by a relationship with a mysterious girl who has problems of her own. The deal they strike forms the basis of an unexpected bond that pays important dividends in both of their lives.
Closing the festival this year will be “The Sessions,” a powerful story of a man who is left in an iron lung and paralyzed from the neck down due to polio as a child, and is determined, at the age of 38, to lose his virginity. Academy Award-nominee John Hawkes and Academy Award-winner Helen Hunt star in the film, which captured an Audience Award and Special Jury Prize for Ensemble Acting at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. “The Sessions” will be presented on Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m. at the Paramount.
Other additions to the lineup include:
- “Quartet,” the directorial debut of Dustin Hoffman, which stars Maggie Smith as Jean Horton, a former diva who moves into a home for aging musicians only to find the members of the group she left behind when her soaring voice and soaring ego propelled her to a solo career. As she comes face to face with the damage she has done to these relationships, including the one with her ex-husband, Jean examines whether time can, in fact, heal old wounds. “Quartet” will be shown on Nov. 4 at 4:30 p.m. at the Paramount.
- “Rust & Bone,” based on the short stories of Craig Davidson, tells the story of Ali, a man who, after getting responsibility for his 5-year-old son, takes refuge with his sister in Antibes, France. There he meets a beautiful and aloof whale trainer, played by Academy Award-winner Marion Cotillard, and their bond grows deeper following a tragic accident that transforms both their lives. “Rust & Bone” will be presented on Nov. 3 at 4 p.m. at the Paramount.
- “Liv & Ingmar,” a documentary from director Dheeraj Akolkar that provides an affectionate but truthful account of the remarkable relationship between the legendary actress Liv Ullmann and director Ingmar Bergman, who met in 1965 while filming “Persona.” The couple moved past obstacles, including a 20-year age difference and the fact that both were married at the time, to forge a personal and professional partnership that included five years of living together and produced one child and 12 films. The film is an engaging homage to a deep personal connection that left enduring creations as proof of the passion of their relationship both on and off the screen. “Liv & Ingmar” will be shown on Nov. 4 at 5:30 p.m. at the Regal Downtown Mall.
For a full schedule and complete information regarding the Virginia Film Festival, visit virginiafilmfestival.org.
Tickets for these newly announced screenings will go on sale Friday via that website, in-person at the U.Va. Arts Box Office in the Drama Building and by phone at 434-924-3376.