The Homesman, from director Tommy Lee Jones, has joined the roster of films that will play at the 2014 AFI Film Festival in Hollywood. The period western starring Jones and two-time Academy Award-winner Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby) will play as part of the Centerpiece Gala at the festival. The film tells the story of an independent frontier woman (Swank) who enlists a claim jumper (Jones) to aid her in transporting three insane women from Nebraska to Iowa. The Homesman made its world premiere at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, and while the film has been met with mixed reviews overall, Swank’s performance has received great acclaim and may gain some traction on the awards circuit. Upstart distributor Saban Films will release the film on November 14th.
AFI also announced a number of other titles that will play at the festival, most of which, like The Homesman, premiered at Cannes earlier this year. Those titles include: Olivier Assayas’ Clouds of Sils Maria, starring Juliette Binoche (Godzilla), Kristen Stewart (Camp X-Ray), and Chloe Grace Moretz (Carrie); Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner (which earned its leading man Timothy Spall the Best Actor prize at Cannes); Xavier Dolan’s Mommy, Bertrand Bonnello’s Saint Laurent; and Two Days, One Night, the Marion Cotillard-starrer from the Dardenne Brothers will all be included at AFI, playing as Special Screenings. Mommy, Saint Laurent, and Two Days, One Night are all in the hunt for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, having been selected by their home countries.
Another special screening announced by AFI was Still Alice, the drama starring Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, and the busy Kristen Stewart. That film, which focuses on a middle-aged woman battling early on-set Alzheimer’s, made its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival last month and has received strong awards buzz for Moore’s performance. Sony Pictures Classics will release the title in December for a one-week awards qualifying run before opening it wider in January. In addition to the films added to the lineup, AFI has scheduled a series of discussions to take place during the festival. One will include a conversation with Birdman stars Michael Keaton and Edward Norton, while another will include a discussion with 11-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins (Unbroken).
It was previously announced that Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice will play AFI as a Centerpiece Gala selection. The festival will open with the world premiere of J.C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year, feature the world premiere of Rupert Wyatt’s The Gambler and close with Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, as well as feature a tribute to the career of screen legend Sophia Loren. AFI Film Fest runs from November 6-13th in Hollywood.