The fall movie festival season continues. Following the three punch attack of world premieres and 2013 awards hopefuls that were presented at the Telluride, Venice, and Toronto Film Festivals just a few weeks ago, there’s still a long road that lies ahead. The Rome Film Festival, now in its seventh year, is set to take the stage from November 8-17th and has just announced four English-language titles to its official competition. It was previously announced that the opening film for the festival will be Fear of Falling, the latest from director Jonathan Demme (Oscar-winning filmmaker of The Silence of the Lambs and director of previous films including Rachel Getting Married and Philadelphia.) It’s an adaptation of the Henrik Ibsen play The Master Builder and stars Wallace Shawn (who wrote the screenplay) and Julie Hagarty.
Rome will unveil the premiere of Isabel Coixet’s latest entitled Another Me. Coixet, originally from Spain, previously directed the 2003 Sarah Polley melodrama My Life Without Me and the 2008 Ben Kingsley-Penélope Cruz drama Elegy. Her latest, a supernatural thriller based on the novel by Cathy MacPhail, tells the story of a teenage girl haunted by her past. Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark on the popular HBO series Game of Thrones) stars. It appears that this will may be the world premiere of the film that is set to open in the UK this November– there appears no word as yet and to when this may appear stateside.
The festival will also unveil Scott Cooper’s Out of the Furnace, a moody new film starring Christian Bale and Casey Affleck as brothers embroiled in a crime drama thematically centered on revenge, family and the ideas of freedom. This is Cooper’s follow-up to his 2009 debut feature Crazy Heart (which earned Jeff Bridges an Academy Award) and features an all-star cast including Zoe Saldana, Woody Harrelson, Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe and Sam Shepard. The drama, to be distributed by Relativity Media and released on December 6th, bypassed the Telluride/Toronto/Venice frenzy for the more relatively low-key Rome competition berth, but remains one of the 2013’s sight-unseen most arousing curiosities.
Two more high profile American films will be in competition at Rome– Spike Jonze’s eagerly anticipated Her, which stars Joaquin Phoenix as a sad sack writer who falls for his new operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson), which will have its premiere as the closing night presentation at the about to start New York Film Festival, and Dallas Buyers Club, Matthew McConaughey’s latest based on the true story of the AIDS-afflicted Ron Woodroof; the film was directed by Jean-Marc Vallee (The Young Victoria.) The later premiered at Toronto to uniformly positive reviews, propelling McConaughey to top of most pundits lists as a probable lead actor Oscar contender. Her will open in limited engagements on November 18th before going wide in mid-January 2014, while Dallas Buyers Club will open on November 1st. Rome will also screen The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the second film in the wildly successful franchise based on the best-selling young adult series, out of competition as an alternative to the awards bait.
James Gray, the screenwriter and director of such films as We Own the Night, Two Lovers and the upcoming The Immigrant will serve as head of the jury; the festival commences November 8th.