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AFI Fest Adds More Must-See Oscar Hopefuls to 2014 Lineup

AFI Fest Adds More Must-See Oscar Hopefuls to 2014 Lineup

Adding to its previously announced Gala presentations of “A Most Violent Year,” “The Gambler,” “Inherent Vice” and “Foxcatcher,” AFI Fest will present writer/director Tommy Lee Jones’ feminist Western “The Homesman” starring Hilary Swank.

AFI Fest’s special screenings are “Clouds of Sils Maria,” “Merchants of Doubt,” Mike Leigh’s Cannes favorite “Mr. Turner,” Julianne Moore Oscar vehicle “Still Alice,” “Tales of the Grim Sleeper” and Foreign Language Oscar contenders “Mommy,” “Saint Laurent” and “Two Days, One Night.” 

AFI Fest’s conversations include a discussion with Michael Keaton and Edward Norton about “Birdman,” Roger Deakins sharing his experience on Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken.” 

AFI Fest runs November 6 through 13 in Hollywood, CA. Here’s more information on the added lineups: 

GALAS

Opening Night: A MOST VIOLENT YEAR – Set in 1981, during one of the most crime-ridden winters in New York City’s history, A MOST VIOLENT YEAR follows the lives of Abel and Anna Morales (Isaac and Chastain) as they attempt to capitalize on the American Dream, while the rampant violence, decay, and corruption of the day drag them in and threaten to destroy all they have built. World PremiereThursday, November 6, 2014.

Centerpiece Galas

INHERENT VICE – INHERENT VICE is the seventh feature from Academy Award® nominee Paul Thomas Anderson and the first ever film adaptation of a Thomas Pynchon novel. When private eye Doc Sportello’s ex-old lady suddenly out of nowhere shows up with a story about her current billionaire land developer boyfriend whom she just happens to be in love with, and a plot by his wife and her boyfriend to kidnap that billionaire and throw him a loony bin…well, easy for her to say. It’s the tail end of the psychedelic ’60s and paranoia is running the day and Doc knows that “love” is another of those going around at the moment, like “trip” or “groovy,” that’s being way too overused—except that this one usually leads to trouble. With a cast of characters that includes surfers, hustlers, dopers and rockers, a murderous loan shark, LAPD Detectives, a tenor sax player working undercover, and a mysterious entity knows as the Golden Fang, which may only be a tax dodge set up by some dentist…Part surf noir, part psychedelic romp – all Thomas Pynchon.
Saturday, November 8, 2014


THE GAMBLER – Jim Bennett (Academy Award® nominee Mark Wahlberg) is a risk taker. Both an English professor and a high-stakes gambler, Bennett bets it all when he borrows from a gangster (Michael Kenneth Williams) and offers his own life as collateral. Always one step ahead, Bennett pits his creditor against the operator of a gambling ring (Alvin Ing) and leaves his dysfunctional relationship with his wealthy mother (Academy Award® winner Jessica Lange) in his wake. He plays both sides, immersing himself in an illicit, underground world while garnering the attention of Frank (John Goodman), a loan shark with a paternal interest in Bennett’s future. As his relationship with a student (Brie Larson) deepens, Bennett must take the ultimate risk for a second chance… World Premiere.

Monday, November 10, 2014

THE HOMESMAN – When three women living on the edge of the American frontier are driven mad by harsh pioneer life, the task of saving them falls to the pious, independent-minded Mary Bee Cuddy (Hilary Swank). Transporting the women by covered wagon to Iowa, she soon realizes just how daunting the journey will be, and employs a low-life drifter, George Briggs (Tommy Lee Jones), to join her. The unlikely pair and the three women (Grace Gummer, Miranda Otto, Sonja Richter) head east, where a waiting minister and his wife (Meryl Streep) have offered to take the women in. But the group first must traverse the harsh Nebraska Territories marked by stark beauty, psychological peril and constant threat.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO SOPHIA LOREN – The evening will celebrate Loren’s illustrious career and coincides with the 50th anniversary of her Academy Award® nominated role in MARRIAGE ITALIAN STYLE [MATRIMONIO ALL’ITALIANA] (DIR Vittorio De Sica, 1964). A screening of her son Edoardo Ponti’s short film HUMAN VOICE (VOCE UMANA) in which she stars and MARRIAGE ITALIAN STYLE [MATRIMONIO ALL’ITALIANA] (DIR Vittorio De Sica, 1964). MARRIAGE ITALIAN STYLE was restored in 2014 by Cineteca di Bologna, the Technicolor Foundation for Cinema Heritage and MEMORY! Cinéma Association and Surf Film.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Closing Night


FOXCATCHER – FOXCATCHER tells the story of Olympic Gold Medal-winning wrestler Mark Schultz (Tatum), who sees a way out from the shadow of his more celebrated wrestling brother Dave (Ruffalo) and a life of poverty when he is summoned by eccentric multi-millionaire John du Pont (Carell) to move onto his estate and train for the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Desperate to gain the respect of his disapproving mother, du Pont begins “coaching” a world-class athletic team and begins to lure Mark into an unhealthy lifestyle and erodes the athlete’s already shaky self-esteem. Fueled by du Pont’s mercurial personality, increasing paranoia and alienation from the brothers, the trio is propelled towards a tragedy no one could have foreseen. Based on actual events, FOXCATCHER, directed by Bennett Miller, is a gripping and profoundly American story of brotherly love, misguided loyalty, and the corruption and emotional bankruptcy that can accompany great power and wealth.
Thursday, November 13, 2014

SPECIAL SCREENINGS

CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA – Actress Maria (Juliette Binoche) struggles to return to the stage play that made her famous 20 years earlier, but this time in a different role, and opposite a rising young starlet. DIR Olivier Assayas. SCR Olivier Assayas. CAST Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart, Chloë Grace Moretz, Lars Eidinger. Switzerland, Germany, France.

MERCHANTS OF DOUBT – Oscar® nominee Robert Kenner’s (FOOD, INC.) latest documentary focuses on the PR masterminds and spin doctors who are paid to shift blame and delay governmental action on climate change. DIR Robert Kenner. SCR Robert Kenner & Kim Roberts. CAST Naomi Oreskes, Bob Inglis, James Hansen, Stan Glantz, Marc Morano, Patricia Callahan, Sam Roe, Jamy Ian Swiss, John Passacantando. USA.

MOMMYXavier Dolan’s latest film, selected as Canada’s official Oscar® entry, centers on a mother’s tumultuous relationship with her teenage son after he returns home from a correctional facility. DIR Xavier Dolan. SCR Xavier Dolan. CAST Anne Dorval, Suzanne Clément, Antoine-Olivier Pilon. Canada.


MR. TURNER – Timothy Spall (in a Cannes Best Actor-winning performance) stars as unconventional, groundbreaking painter J.M.W. Turner in this gorgeous biopic by Mike Leigh. DIR Mike Leigh. SCR Mike Leigh. CAST Timothy Spall, Dorothy Atkinson, Marion Bailey, Paul Jesson, Lesley Manville, Martin Savage. UK.

SAINT LAURENT – Selected as France’s official Oscar® entry, this stylish biopic follows the life and career of iconic fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent (Gaspard Ulliel), from 1967 through 1976. DIR Bertrand Bonello. SCR Thomas Bidegain & Bertrand Bonello. CAST Gaspard Ulliel, Aymeline Valade, Jérémie Renier, Léa Seydoux, Louis Garrel, Amira Casar. France.

STILL ALICE – Julianne Moore gives a heartbreaking performance as a linguistics professor facing early onset Alzheimer’s disease in this festival favorite. DIR Richard Glatzer & Wash Westmoreland. SCR Richard Glatzer & Wash Westmoreland. CAST Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth, Hunter Parrish. USA.

TALES OF THE GRIM SLEEPER – The latest documentary by provacateur Nick Broomfield (AILEEN: LIFE AND DEATH OF A SERIAL KILLER, KURT & COURTNEY) delves into the case of a notorious serial killer who menaced South Central L.A. for more than 25 years. DIR Nick Broomfield. FEATURING Seymour Amster, Pamela Brooks, Nick Broomfield, Christopher Franklin, Nana Gyamfi, Laverne Peters, Margaret Prescod. USA, UK.

TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT (DEUX JOURS, UNE NUIT) – The Cannes Palme d’Or-winning Dardenne brothers return with this tale of a young Belgian mother (Marion Cotillard) who must convince her co-workers to forego their much-needed bonuses in order to keep her job. DIR Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne. SCR Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne. CAST Marion Cotillard, Fabrizio Rongione, Pili Groyne, Simon Caudry. Belgium, Italy, France.

CONVERSATIONS

ON ACTING: A CONVERSATION WITH MICHAEL KEATON AND EDWARD NORTON – Known for creative fearlessness and meticulous approaches to their craft, actors Michael Keaton and Edward Norton will discuss their careers. Keaton and Norton currently star opposite each other in BIRDMAN OR (THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE) (DIR Alejandro González Iñárritu).

ON CINEMATOGRAPHY: A CONVERSATION WITH ROGER DEAKINS – Legendary director of photography and 11-time Academy Award® nominee Roger Deakins shares his wisdom and expertise in a discussion about the art of cinematography, and his upcoming release UNBROKEN (DIR Angelina Jolie).

INDIE CONTENDERS ROUNDTABLE – The Hollywood Reporter presents a diverse panel of distinguished filmmakers who have done standout work this year in independent films. The discussion, moderated by THR’s columnist and blogger Scott Feinberg, will touch on their lives, careers and influences, as well as the challenges and rewards of working on indies.

YOUNG HOLLYWOOD ROUNDTABLE – The Los Angeles Times returns with its very popular Young Hollywood Roundtable. Some of the year’s hottest rising starts will engage in a lively discussion with the Times’ Amy Kaufman on their life in the industry and being thrust into the limelight.

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