Of course folks will flock to see the big ticket items at the Los Angeles Film Festival, which opened Thursday night with Woody Allen's "To Rome with Love," complete with the self-deprecatory filmmaker, who said, "I'm here to introduce the cast. If you like it, tell your friends and Sony so they don't put it in the witness protection program." (Early reviews are mixed.)
The other big titles are DreamWorks/Disney's "People Like Us," starring Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks, and Fox Searchlight's Sundance/Cannes hit "Beasts of the Southern Wild," which both premiere Friday night.
And there's Disney/Pixar's "Brave," which I'll catch Monday night. But I will miss closing night, Steven Soderbergh's male stripper movie "Magic Mike," because I will be attending the Moscow Film Festival. But Sophia Savage will report back.
There's also a studio secret sneak Sunday night.
Here are some insider picks to help you make your selections:
"Call Me Kuchu" (documentary competition, English and Luganda)
"Crazy & Thief" (narrative competition, USA)
"The Last Elvis" (international showcase, Argentina)
"A Night Too Young" (narrative competition, Czech Republic/Slovenia)
"Sun Kissed" (documentary competition, USA, English and Navajo)
"Sister" (international showcase, Switzerland)
"Teddy Bear" (international showcase, Denmark)
And based on what I have seen:
"Beasts of the Southern Wild" (gala, Ben Zeitlin, dramatic grand jury prize winner Sundance, Cannes winner of Camera d'Or))
"Gayby" (summer showcase, SXSW, comedy, Jonathan Lisecki)
"Gimme the Loot" (summer showcase, SXSW, Cannes, drama, Adam Leon)
"The House I Live In" (summer showcase, Sundance doc jury prize winner, Eugene Jarecki)
"The Invisible War" (free community screening, Sundance doc, Kirby Dick)
"Neil Young: Journeys" (summer showcase, Toronto music doc, Jonathan Demme)
"The Queen of Versailles" (summer showcase, Sundance doc, Lauren Greenfield)
"Searching for Sugar Man" (summer showcase, Sundance music doc, Malik Bendjelloul )