The Quickie: Film Fest Flicks for the Procrastinator

Posted on November 6, 2013 by

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quickieNot a lot of free time to plunge into the dozens of movies screening this weekend at the Virginia Film Festival? Let this list be your quickie guide to the hot flicks at this year’s festival. Because who doesn’t love a good quickie?

With the Virginia Film Festival upon us, we’ve compiled a go-to flick list to give you all the picture show stimulation your heart desires. So, strap on your spectacles, thrust your ticket in your pocket, and see which theme piques your interest for some quick drama in the dark.

Sticking With What Works (Mainstream Comfort)

If your quest for adventure rarely leads you off the straight and narrow, these options shouldn’t make you sweat. This group promises a double-dose of former “SNL” cast member Will Forte, who shows his more serious and vulnerable side in the critically-acclaimed “Nebraska,” along with movies that highlight the struggles of love lost and found.

Nebraska 

Main Attraction: Woody Grant (Bruce Dern) is a hardscrabble old man living in Montana who escapes repeatedly from his house, trying to walk to Nebraska to collect a sweepstakes prize he thinks he has won. Frustrated by his mounting dementia, his family debates putting him into a nursing home – until his son David (Forte) finally offers to take his father to Nebraska by car, fully understanding the futility. En route, an accident leads the pair to take a detour and spend time in the small Nebraska town where Woody was born.

Check It Out: 7 p.m. Thursday, Paramount Theater

Stay for More: Post-film discussion with actor Will Forte and producer Ron Yerxa.

Bonus Points: Will Forte steps outside of his slapstick comedic comfort zone

Face of Love

Main Attraction: The Face of Love tells the story of Nikki (Annette Bening), a widow who, five years after the accidental death of her husband, unexpectedly runs into Tom (Ed Harris), a man who bears striking resemblance to her late husband. As Nikki forges a relationship with Tom, she decides to keep the truth about her former husband a secret. Director Arie Posen paints a portrait of a woman deeply struggling with falling in love and at the same time falling into memory – she can’t help but imagine that Tom is the man she’s loved her whole life.

Check It Out: 6 p.m. Saturday, Paramount Theater

Stay for More: Post film discussion with actress Jess Weixler, director Arie Posen, and producer Julie Lynn.

MacGruber

Main Attraction: Will Forte brings his iconic “Saturday Night Live” character to the big screen, which stars fellow “SNL” veteran Kristen Wiig as MacGruber’s partner and love interest. Retired from active duty after the murder of his wife (Maya Rudolph), war veteran MacGruber lives a quiet life. However, when his old nemesis (Val Kilmer) gets control of a Russian X5 nuclear warhead, he is called back into action.

Check It Out: 9 p.m. Friday, Newcomb Hall Theater

Stay for More: Post-film discussion with actor and co-writer Will Forte and director Jorma Taccone.

Watch For: Familiar faces, “SNL” favorites, cheesy action and a few explosions

Not Another Love Story (A Harsh Look at Love)

Obsession, passion, infatuation, what’s not to love? These themes walk the dark and dangerous side of romance gone wild and wrong.

Charlie Countryman

Main Attraction: Charlie (Shia LeBeouf) is a young American tourist fulfilling his mother’s dying wish by trekking through Eastern Europe, when he finds himself in an unknown space more wild, weird, and foreign than he could ever have imagined. Charlie falls hard for Gabi (Evan Rachel Wood), an elusive Romanian woman with a mysterious and violent past. Charlie chases the magnetic Gabi into her dark history, fighting bizarre obstacles to their relationship at every turn. Hyper-stylized imagery and a unique soundtrack propel this tale of star-crossed lovers through an absorbing, twisting maze of the Romanian underworld.

Check It Out: 8:30 Friday, Culbreth Theatre

Stay for More: Post-film discussion with director Fredrik Bond and producer Ron Yerxa.

It’ll Leave You: In a cold sweat

The Past

Main Attraction: From Iranian writer-director Ashgar Farhadi comes a follow-up to the Academy Award-winning A Separation. After four years, Ahmad has returned to Paris to finalize the dissolution of his marriage with his estranged ex-wife Marie (Bérénice Bejo, The Artist) so she can marry her boyfriend Samir. However, a revelation by her eldest daughter Lucie soon complicates matters. She lashes out in opposition to her mother’s impending marriage because she thinks her mother is responsible for what led to Samir’s wife coma.

Check It Out: 6 p.m. Saturday, Regal 4 Downtown Mall

Bonus Points: Parlez-vous français? A complex love story set in a place known for passion.

Stranger at the Lake

Main Attraction: At a cruising spot in a picturesque lakeside in rural France surrounded by rugged woodland, twenty-something Franck becomes fixated on the muscular, mustachioed Michel. One evening, he catches Michel drowning his lover in the middle of the lake. But rather than contact authorities, Franck becomes further infatuated with him and the two ignite a passionate affair. Blinded by passion, Franck remains silent during the police investigation after the body is found. Guiraudie’s stylish thriller is a uniquely moody and absorbing experience.

Check It Out: 10 p.m. Thursday, Regal 4 Downtown Mall

It’ll Leave You: Terrified of dating, or skinny dipping

Some Velvet Morning

Main Attraction: Fred (Stanley Tucci) arrives at the doorstep of his beautiful young mistress Velvet (Alice Eve, Star Trek Into Darkness) after four years apart, claiming to have finally left his wife. But when she rejects his attempts to rekindle their romance, his persistence evolves into obsession, and a dark history between the former lovers comes into focus. A return to form for writer/director Neil LaBute (Nurse Betty, Your Friends and Neighbors), Some Velvet Morning is an astutely crafted portrait of a very modern romance.

Check It Out: 6:15 p.m. Saturday, Regal 3 Downtown Mall

Bonus Points: Get a rare look into this lusty love story

By Brandy and Darren Sweeney

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