Film Columbia 2018

The lineup includes Shoplifters, which won the Palme d'Or at Cannes this year.

The annual Film Columbia film festival returns October 20-28 in Chatham. And the lineup of films is out.

As in years past the schedule includes a bunch of films that are already getting attention because of screenings at other festivals and/or they're eagerly awaited because of stars or directors involved.

A few of this year's selections that caught our eye are after below.

This year's festival also will honor Brian Cox with four screenings of his films and a Q&A with the actor.

Tickets for the general public go on sale October 13.

Many of the screenings do sell out -- so if you're interested in attending, it's a good idea to grab tickets sooner rather than later.

This is not a comprehensive listing of the films that will be playing. It's just a handful that caught our eye while looking over the program.

Non-Fiction
"Juliet Binoche stars in Olivier Assayas's comedy of manners set in Parisian cafés, dining rooms, and rumpled beds where conversations tend to be about publishing in the age of virtual books and social media. Assayas, whose most recent art house hits include Clouds of Sils Maria and Personal Shopper, takes wry aim at a group of intelligent people who, while adjusting to the digitization of written words, cajole and betray with spoken ones."

Can You Ever Forgive Me?
"Based on the life of Lee Israel, who made her living writing profiles of Katharine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead, cosmetics executive Estée Lauder, et al. Eventually, she went broke when she fell out of step with the publishing industry's infatuation with warts-and-all biographies. Israel, played by Melissa McCarthy, abetted by her friend Jack (Richard E. Grant), an ex-con, begins selling forged letters allegedly penned by deceased writers and actors. When one "by" Noel Coward finally raises suspicion, her market dries up, and she begins stealing real letters from library archives to sell."

The Hate U Give
"Based on a wrenching bestseller and inspired by Black Lives Matter, the film focuses on a teenager living two lives: one as a black ghetto kid, and the other as a student among wealthy whites at a ritzy private school. These worlds collide when she witnesses a white cop shoot and kill her best friend, an unarmed black teenager in the 'hood.' The cops blame the victim, launch a desultory investigation, etc., etc. Called upon to testify, she is torn between her neighbors, who have taken to the streets, and her white friends, who couldn't care less. Played the Toronto Film Festival."

Everybody Knows
"Every new film by the Iranian master, Asghar Farhadi, is an occasion, especially when it stars Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem. Everybody Knows differs from two of his earlier films, which both won Oscars for Best Foreign Language Films (A Separation and The Salesman), in that it is not set in Iran but sun-dappled Spain. Laura arrives from Argentina with her daughter and son to celebrate her younger sister's wedding in her home village. All goes well until it suddenly doesn't. Opened this year's Cannes Film Festival."

A Private War
"Marie Colvin's story is a paean to the enduring importance of investigative journalism, now under attack by the powers that be. Colvin (Rosamund Pike) is one of the most celebrated war correspondents of our time, driven by the desire to bear witness and speak for the speechless. This hair-raising tale of derring-do comes straight from the world's most dangerous battlefields, including the Syrian city of Homs, under attack by the forces of president Bashar al-Assad."

Widows
"From Academy Award-winning director Steve McQueen ("12 Years a Slave") and co-writer and bestselling author Gillian Flynn ("Gone Girl") comes a blistering, modern-day thriller set against the backdrop of crime, passion and corruption. "Widows" is the story of four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands' criminal activities. Set in contemporary Chicago, amid a time of turmoil, tensions build when Veronica (Oscar-winner Viola Davis), Linda (Michelle Rodriguez), Alice (Elizabeth Debicki) and Belle (Cynthia Erivo) take their fate into their own hands and conspire to forge a future on their own terms."

Cold War
"After winning the Oscar for Ida in 2015, Pawel Pawlikowski returned to Poland to shoot Cold War, in ravishing back-and-white. A love story set in Warsaw, Berlin, and Paris, and loosely based on his parents' experience, it earned him the Best Director award at Cannes this year. This quietly spectacular film takes place between 1949 and 1964, and charts a relationship compromised by a political system that perverted human emotion."

Shoplifters
"FilmColumbia welcomes back the work of master Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda (After the Storm) with his Palme d'Or-winner Shoplifters, fresh from its screenings in Toronto and New York. The film is an emotionally rich drama about a tightly-knit, three-generation family of small time thieves who "adopt" an abandoned and abused young girl. In awarding Shoplifters Cannes' most coveted prize, jury president Cate Blanchett reported that the judges were completely "bowled over by the intermeshing of performances with the directorial vision," which is at once humane, astringent, and utterly compelling."

Never Look Away
"Inspired by real life events spanning three eras of German history, Never Look Away tells the story of a young art student, Kurt who falls in love with a fellow student, Ellie. Ellie's father, Professor Seeband, a renowned German doctor, is disappointed by his daughter's choice of a boyfriend and vows to destroy their relationship. What none of them know is that their lives are already connected through a terrible crime Seeband committed decades ago. Played this year's Venice and Toronto Film Festivals." (This was directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, who also directed the Oscar-winning The Lives of Others.)

Capernaum
"Nadine Labaki's third film, Capernaüm, tells the story of Zain, an old-beyond-his-12-years boy who sues his parents for "giving him life." It received the longest standing ovation at Cannes this year. Cast with non-professionals and shot in the Beirut slums, the film vividly captures the poverty and social disorder children navigate with wiles and toughness. (Think Bicycle Thief, 400 Blows.) Labeki's access to the back streets of Beirut is simply astonishing."

Darcy
"Darcy is an idealistic 15-year-old living on the edge of town in her family's motel. The prostitutes, addicts, and malcontents also residing in the motel have their own stories and secrets, and her fate is interwoven with theirs. When an alluring stranger enters her world, Darcy finds herself with a choice: remain in the place she knows, or move forward into an unknown future. Shot in Pallenville, NY."

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