Traverse City Events: 2013 Traverse City Film Festival Line Up

Much Ado About Nothing

2012 | USA | PG-13 | 107 min.

On a short break from shooting "The Avengers," director Joss Whedon brought together some of his famous friends in his home in Santa Monica for a 12-day stint to shoot a slick black-and-white adaptation of one of Shakespeare's enduring classics. The result of their efforts is a sexy and stylish modern take on the Bard's comedy, which keeps the original text and moves the story of quarreling lovers Beatrice and Benedick to contemporary southern California, as the comedy unfolds around a series of misconceptions and misdirections. Whedon proves his directorial skill and penchant for filming quick-witted dialog, keeping the film light and lively throughout while still packing an emotional punch in one of the best Shakespeare adaptations of the last decade.

Fri 3 pm Lars Hockstad Theatre | Sat 9 am Old Town Playhouse | Sun 9 pm State Theatre

Orenthal:  The Musical

2013 | USA | NR | 90 min.

Eugene Olivier is a “fairly successful” New York theater artist (at least in his own mind). Struck with an inspiration for the next great American musical, Eugene heads to LA to enlist his childhood friends to help him stage his most ambitious creation yet: a musical reimagining of “Othello,” framed through the story of the OJ Simpson trial, that features songs like “If the Glove Don’t Fit (You Must Acquit).” This outlandish mockumentary follows the trials and tribulations of the cast as they approach their opening night. A rare bit of modern satire that will make you laugh and cringe in equal measure. In Person: director Jeff Rosenberg and actor Jordan Kenneth Camp.

Thu 9 pm Old Town Playhouse | Sun 12 noon City Opera House

The Pretty One 

2013 | USA | NR | 90 min.

Zoe Kazan does double duty as identical twin sisters Audrey and Laurel in this charming fairy tale comedy from first-time director Jenée LaMarque. Shy and awkward Laurel has always played second fiddle to her confident, stylish sister Audrey, and when the two are reunited at their birthday party, their differences are brought into sharp relief. When tragedy strikes, Laurel rashly seizes the opportunity to step into her sister's shoes, where she discovers Audrey's life isn't as perfect as it seemed. Kazan shines in her dual roles alongside a rakish Jake Johnson ("New Girl") in this warm and quirky film about finding your identity.

Wed 6 pm Lars Hockstad Theatre | Sun 9 pm Lars Hockstad Theatre

Sunlight Jr.

2013 | USA | NR | 90 min.

Melissa (Naomi Watts) and her boyfriend Richie (Matt Dillon) are living in a motel room and just scraping by between her minimum wage job and his monthly disability check, but they haven't let their living situation sour their loving relationship. The couple is initially overjoyed by the news that Melissa is pregnant, in spite of the obvious financial burden that comes with a child—but their happiness is short-lived, as circumstances conspire to push them further into poverty. Laurie Collyer ("Sherrybaby," TCFF '07) perfectly captures real-life challenges faced by working class Americans in this powerful social drama, vividly realized by skillful, layered performances from Watts and Dillon, as well as a spectacular supporting turn from Norman Reedus ("The Walking Dead") as Melissa's abusive pill-pushing ex. In Person: Laurie Collyer.

Fri 9 pm State Theatre | Sat 12 noon Lars Hockstad Auditorium

Trust

2010 | USA | R | 106 min.

Suburban teen Annie (Liana Liberato, “Erased”) lives a fairly sheltered life with her advertising executive father (Clive Owen) and loving mother (Catherine Keener). She thinks she’s found her first love in a boy she meets online, but when they meet in person, she discovers he’s not who he claimed to be. After he takes advantage of her in a motel tryst, her parents are left to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. A chilling but fiercely honest drama dealing with the emotional aftermath of sexual abuse, this first feature from David Schwimmer (“Friends”) features a breakout performance by teen actress Liana Liberato.

Thu 12 noon State Theatre | Sun 3 pm Bijou by the Bay

Trust Me

2013 | USA | NR | 90 min.

Howard Holloway's past as a child star should put him in the perfect position for a successful career as a child-actor agent, but life hasn't gone as planned. In the twisted world of Hollywood's elite and scheming agents, Holloway's bumbling career has stalled, thanks in no small part to rival agent Aldo Shocklee poaching his most promising clients. He finally catches a break when he signs Lydia, a troubled young teen with a big role coming up in a "Twilight"-esque franchise, but it turns out there's more to Lydia than meets the eye… Directed by and starring actor Clark Gregg, and featuring a fantastic cast that includes Sam Rockwell, Amanda Peet, Allison Janney and Felicity Huffman, this dark dramedy offers an acerbic skewering of the seedy side of Hollywood and the price of chasing stardom.

Fri 12 noon State Theatre | Sat 3 pm Lars Hockstad Auditorium

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