Sunday, November 17, 2013

Three Nights, Three Reviews at the Starz Denver Film Festival

Starz Denver Film Festival Opening Night
Labor Day (PG-13), 111 minutes B

Starring Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Gattlin Griffith, Tobey Maguire, Clark Gregg, J.K. Simmons, Brooke Smith and James Van Der Beek

A lonely divorcee is befriended by an escaped convict.  It features a pie making scene that rivals the pottery wheel scene in Jerry Zucker's 1990 film, Ghost.  Some film goers will give Labor Day the "yeah right" eye roll because romantically it feels a little too fanciful.  Nevertheless, writer-director Jason Reitman couldn't go wrong with Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, and Gattlin Griffith. 

Griffith was awarded the 2013 Starz Denver Film Festival Rising Star Award after the film.  Labor Day is based on the novel by Joyce Maynard.  The release date for this film is Christmas 2013

Starz Denver Film Festival Big Night
Nebraska (R) 115 minutes B+

Starring Rance Howard, Missy Doty, Stacy Keach, Bob Odenkirk, Devin Ratray, Will Forte, June Squibb and Bruce Dern

Alexander Payne's road trip dramedy was nominated for a Palme d'Or, while Bruce Dern won the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.  If you're looking for a bittersweet, small town father-son road trip film, this is a must-see! This film opens in limited release next week.

Starz Denver Film Festival Closing Night
At Middleton (R) 99 minutes B-

Starring Vera Farmiga, Taissa Farmiga, Spencer Lofranco,Thomas Skerritt  and Andy Garcia

At Middleton plays like a funny and fluffy love story.  Two married adults meet and fall in love while accompanying their kids on a college admissions tour. This film is very entertaining, but the comedy stuff really outweighs the dramatic story line here... and that's too bad.  The release date for this film is January 31, 2014.

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