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‘The Last Five Years,’ ‘Imitation Game’ to Headline Middleburg Film Festival

'The Last Five Years,' 'Imitation Game' to Headline Middleburg Film Festival

The Middleburg Film Festival has announced the films chosen for its main slate and two special screenings.

Starting October 30 and running through November 2,  Middleburg will screen festival favorites and Oscar hopefuls in Virginia’s historic wine country for the fest’s sophomore year.

READ MORE: Colleen Atwood and Marco Beltrami To Be Honored With Awards at the Middleburg Film Festival

Highlights include opener Richard LaGravenese’s (“Behind the Candelabra”) musical “The Last Five Years,” starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan. Morten Tyldum’s “The Imitation Game” will screen as the Centerpiece on November 1. 

“With the success of our inaugural festival, we aim to grow The Middleburg Film Festival into a true destination event for the Washington region,” said MFF founder Sheila C. Johnson. “Our wonderful films coupled with the beauty of Middleburg in the fall make this a can’t-miss attraction.” Tickets are now on sale via the festival’s website.  
Here is the lineup:

Opening Night:
“The Last Five Years”
Director: Richard LaGravenese 
2014, 94 minutes
Country: USA
Genre: Musical
“The Last Five Years” is a musical chronicling a love affair and marriage taking place over a five-year period. Jamie Wallerstein (Jeremy Jordan) is a young, talented up and coming novelist who falls in love with Cathy Hiatt (Anna Kendrick), a struggling actress. Their story is told almost entirely through song.   

“The Imitation Game”
Director: Morten Tyldum 
2014, 114 minutes
Country: USA
Genre: Narrative
During the darkest days of World War II, British mathematician Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) heads up a top-secret mission to break the German’s enigma code, helping to bring an end to the war and save millions of live. 

Main Slate:
Director: Yann Demange
2014, 99 minutes
Country: Ireland
Genre: Narrative
“’71” takes place over a single night in the life of a young British soldier (Jack O’Connell) accidentally abandoned by his unit following a riot on the streets of Belfast in 1971. Unable to tell friend from foe, and increasingly wary of his own comrades, he must survive the night alone and find his way to safety through a disorientating, alien and deadly landscape. 

“All Fall Down”
Directors: Emily Topper and Mary Posatko
2014, 90 minutes
Country: USA
Genre: Documentary
“All Fall Down” tells the story of one family’s complex reaction to a violent tragedy. Filmmaker Emily Topper’s grandfather was the victim of a murder in Baltimore in 1972 that no one understood – or talked about it. Now, from behind a camera, she asks why.  The answers in this timely documentary by Topper and her co-director, Mary Posatko, reveal an America still far from post-racial. 

“Clouds of Sils Maria”
Director: Olivier Assayas
2014, 123 minutes
Country: France/Germany/Switzerland
Genre: Narrative
At the peak of her career, Maria Enders (Juliette Binoche) is asked to perform in a revival of the play that made her famous twenty years ago. But back then she played the role of Sigrid, a young girl who disarms and eventually drives her boss Helena to suicide. Now she is being asked to play the older Helena. She departs with her assistant (Kristen Stewart) to rehearse in Sils Maria, a remote region of the Alps.

“Dior and I”
Director: Frédéric Tcheng
2014, 90 minutes
Country: France
Genre: Documentary”Dior and I” brings the viewer inside the storied world of the Christian Dior fashion house with a privileged, behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Raf Simons’ first haute couture collection as its new artistic director. The film is a colorful homage to the seamstresses who serve Simons’ vision.

“Escobar: Paradise Lose”
Director: Andrea Di Stefano
2014, 120 minutes
Country: USA
Genre: Narrative
For Pablo Escobar (Benicio Del Toro), family is everything. When young surfer Nick (Josh Hutcherson) falls for Escobar’s niece, he finds his life on the line when he’s pulled into the dangerous world of the family business.

“Force Majeure”
Director: Ruben Östlund
2014, 118 minutes
Country: Sweden
Genre: Narrative
“Force Majeure” tells the story of a model Swedish family on a skiing holiday in the French Alps. During a lunch at a mountainside restaurant, an avalanche suddenly bears down on the diners. With people fleeing in all directions and his wife and children in a state of panic, Tomas makes a decision that will shake his marriage to its core and leave him struggling to reclaim his role as family patriarch. Sweden’s submission for the foreign language film category at the Oscars. 

“The Homesman”
Director: Tommy Lee Jones
2014, 120 minutes
Country: USA
Genre: Narrative
When three women living on the edge of the American frontier are driven mad, the task of saving them falls to the pious Mary Bee Cuddy (Hilary Swank). Transporting the women by covered wagon to Iowa, she employs a low-life drifter, George Briggs (Tommy Lee Jones), to join her. The unlikely pair and the three women head east, where a waiting minister and his wife (Meryl Streep) have offered to take the women in. 

“Human Capital”
Director: Paolo Virzì
2014, 110 minutes
Country: Italy
Genre: Narrative
“Human Capital” begins at the end, as a cyclist is run off the road by a careening SUV the night before Christmas Eve. As details emerge of the events leading up to the accident, the lives of the well-to-do Bernaschi family will intertwine with the Rovellis, struggling to keep their comfortable middle-class life, in ways neither could have expected. Italy’s submission for the foreign language film category at the Oscars. 

“Low Down”
Director: Jeff Preiss
2014, 114 minutes
Country: USA
Genre: Narrative
Based on Amy-Jo Albany’s powerful memoir of growing up in the care of her gifted and absent musician father, jazz pianist Joe Albany. “Low Down” focuses on the years when Amy (Elle Fanning) had few resources other than the love of her grandmother (Glenn Close) and a ragtag bunch of Hollywood outcasts. While Joe struggles to find gigs, and stay out of jail, Amy grows up quickly in a hotel on the fringes of Hollywood.
“Mr. Turner”
Director: Mike Leigh
2014, 149 minutes
Country: UK
Genre: Narrative
“Mr. Turner” explores the last quarter century of the great if eccentric British painter J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851). Profoundly affected by the death of his father, he forms a close relationship with a seaside landlady with whom he eventually lives incognito in Chelsea. Throughout this, he travels, paints, visits brothels, and is both celebrated and reviled by the public and by royalty.

“The Overnighters”
Director: Jesse Moss
2014, 90 minutes
Country: USA
Genre: Documentary
When hydraulic fracturing unlocks a vast oil field in North Dakota’s Bakken shale, tens of thousands of unemployed men descend on the state with dreams of six-figure salaries. In the tiny town of Williston, busloads of newcomers step into the sad reality of slim work prospects and nowhere to sleep. Over at Concordia Lutheran Church, Pastor Jay Reinke is hell-bent on delivering the migrants some dignity.

“Red Army”
Director: Gabe Polsky
2014, 76 minutes
Country: Canada
Genre: Documentary
“Red Army” is about the Soviet Union and the most successful dynasty in sports history: the Red Army hockey team. Filmmaker Gabe Polsky tells an extraordinary human story from the perspective of its captain Slava Fetisov, the friendships, the betrayals, and the personal dramas, which led to his transformation from national hero to political enemy.
“La Sapienza”
Director: Eugène Green
2014, 100 minutes
Country: France/Italy
Genre: Narrative
Alexandre is a successful French architect. In the midst of a marital and creative crisis he leaves for Italy with his wife Alienor to work on a project he’d interrupted years earlier. On reaching Stresa they happen to meet two youngsters, Goffredo and Lavinia, who will end up changing the course of their journey. 

“Seymour: An Introduction”
Director: Ethan Hawke
2014, 81 minutes
Country: USA
Genre: DocumentaryLiving in a small Manhattan apartment at age eighty-five, Seymour Bernstein he appears fully content with his choice to forgo a promising career as a concert pianist in order to teach music. Now Ethan Hawke, one of his greatest admirers, takes us into Bernstein’s world with this delicately crafted film, offering a wise and charismatic reflection on art and life. 

“Soul of a Banquet”
Director: Wayne Wang
2014, 78 minutes
Country: USA
Genre: Documentary
“Soul of a Banquet” takes us into the world of Cecilia Chiang, the woman who introduced America to authentic Chinese food. Chiang opened The Mandarin in 1961 in San Francisco and went on to change the course of cuisine in America. The film is a delectable showcase of gastronomy and a touching portrait of Chiang’s journey from a childhood in Beijing to accidental restaurateur on the west coast of the United States. 

Director: Abderrahmane Sissako
2014, 97 minutes
Country: France
Genre: Narrative
Set during the fundamentalist takeover of northern Mali in 2012, foreign jihadists are enforcing bans against sports, music, loafing, and bare-headed women. Mild-mannered herdsman Kidane runs afoul of the rebels when his beloved cow, affectionately named “GPS,” goes astray. Forced to shoot the film in neighboring Mauritania due to unsafe conditions in Mali, writer-director Sissako has made a vibrant, graceful film depicting a fracturing community and fraying family which, nevertheless, achieve moments of joy and fun under forced occupation. Mauritania’s submission for the foreign language film category at the Oscars. 

“Two Days, One Night”
Director: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
2014, 95 minutes
Country: France
Genre: Narrative
Sandra (Marion Cotillard) has just returned to work after recovering from an illness. Realizing that the company can operate with one less employee, management tells Sandra she is to be let go. Over the course of a weekend, Sandra races against time to convince each of her fellow co-workers to sacrifice their much-needed bonuses in order for her to keep her job. Belgium’s submission for the foreign language film category at the Oscars.

“The Way He Looks”
Director: Daniel Ribeiro
2014, 96 minutes
Country: Brazil
Genre: Narrative
Leo is a blind teenager who’s fed up with his overprotective mother and the bullies at school. Looking to assert his independence, he decides to study abroad to the dismay of his best friend, Giovana. When Gabriel, the new kid in town, teams with Leo on a school project, new feelings blossom in him that make him reconsider his plans. Brazil’s submission for the foreign language film category at the Oscars. 
Special Screenings:
“Edward Scissorhands”
Director: Tim Burton
1990, 105 minutes
Country: USA
Genre: Narrative
Funny, satiric and sincere, gothic and modern, “Edward Scissorhands” is a timeless classic and wonderfully, brilliantly different. Johnny Depp plays Edward, an “unfinished” creation who has scissors for hands. He is taken in by a suburban family and falls in love with their teenage daughter. This quintessential Tim Burton film put the director on the map for his unique yet accessibly strange films, and also garnered much recognition for Costume Designer Colleen Atwood, who has since gone on to win Oscars for her costume designs in Alice in Wonderland, Memoirs of a Geisha and Chicago. 

Director: Wes Craven
1997, 112 minutes
Country: USA
Someone with a twisted love for scary movies is victimizing the residents of a small American town.  As this masked predator continues to mimic horror films with real life acts of terror, it becomes clear that solving this mystery is going to be murder!  An instant favorite with audiences world wide for its unique style and humor, this chilling one-of-a-kind thriller will make you laugh until you scream.  Receiving much acclaim and awards for the “Scream” score early in his career, Marco Beltrami has since been nominated for Oscars for his film scores for The Hurt Locker and 3:10 to Yuma. 

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