The 2019 Chicago Critics Film Festival (CCFF) line-up is bringing some exciting talent to town, and festival films are sure to entertain.
The Chicago premiere of Danny Boyle’s “Yesterday” tops the program packed with this year’s best films, joined by guests: Jay Duplass, Tatiana Maslany, Jim Gaffigan, Tom Skerritt, and more. The Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA), of which I have been a member since 2009, is the Chicago-area print, online and broadcast critics group that celebrates the art of film and film criticism. Now celebrating it’s the seventh annual CCFF, May 17-23 at the Music Box Theater.
“Saint Frances,” a Chicago-set film by Alex Thompson and Kelly O’Sullivan (both of whom will be in attendance) opens the festival on Friday. Closing night, May 23 also features a Chicago connection, “Light From Light,” starring Jim Gaffigan, is a Chicago-area native and will be in attendance, along with the director Paul Harrill.
The 40th Anniversary screening of “Alien” arrives at the Music Box with actor Tom Skerritt scheduled to attend, more information on the complete schedule and special guests are below and online; a full schedule, festival passes and individual tickets are also available online https://chicagocriticsfilmfestival.com
Highlights of the week-long festival include:
“The Farewell “A popular Sundance Film Festival hit starring Awkwafina (“Crazy Rich Asians”) about a Chinese family who plans a wedding to gather family, instead of telling the truth to a grandmother that only has a short time left to live; writer/director Lulu Wang is scheduled to attend the festival.
“Yesterday” The story of a struggling musician who after a freak bus accident during a mysterious global blackout, realizes he’s the only person on Earth who can remember The Beatles. Screenplay by Richard Curtis (“About Time”, “Love Actually”) and directed by Danny Boyle (“T2,” “Trainspotting,” “Slumdog Millionaire”).
“Light From Light” A single mom played by Marin Ireland moonlights as a paranormal investigator and travels to Tennessee with her son to take on a new case of the recently widowed Jim Gaffigan.
“Alien” 40th Anniversary Screening on 35mm—Ridley Scott’s 1979 sci-fi classic about a space merchant vessel and its crew, as they discover a mysterious new lifeform intent on spawning a new generation; actor Tom Skerritt is scheduled to attend.
“The Nightingale” Jennifer Kent (“The Babadook”) returns with the story of a young Irish convict woman out for revenge against a British officer who wronged her family; star Aisling Franciosi is scheduled to attend.
“Our Time Machine” Set mostly in Shanghai, the documentary follows the Chinese artist Maleonn on his personal journey to collaborate with his aging father who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the two collaborate on a haunting, magical, autobiographical stage performance called “Papa’s Time Machine”; one of three documentaries screening at this year’s festival.
“Pink Wall” The debut feature film from actor Tom Cullen (“Knightfall,” “Orphan Black”), stars Jay Duplass and Tatiana Maslany as a couple navigating a romantic relationship. It takes place over six tumultuous years; Cullen, Duplass, and Maslany are all scheduled to attend.
Additional special guests include filmmaker Gurinder Chadha and actor Viveik Kalra with “Blinded By The Light”; Alex Thompson and Kelly O’Sullivan with “Saint Frances”; and Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe with “Greener Grass.”
Tickets are on sale now at the Music Box Theater: https://chicagocriticsfilmfestival.com
Sarah Knight Adamson© May 7, 2019