The Spinning Platters Guide to the 33rd Mill Valley Film Festival

by Jason LeRoy on October 6, 2010

Colin Firth in early Oscar buzz favorite THE KING'S SPEECH, making its Bay Area debut this week at the Mill Valley Film Festival. All photos courtesy of the MVFF.

The 33rd annual Mill Valley Film Festival kicks off tomorrow, October 7, boasting a genuinely impressive roster of major 2010 film festival favorites making their Bay Area debuts. The MVFF will also host appearances by actors Edward Norton, Annette Bening, Sam Rockwell, and James Franco, directors Julian Schnabel and Alejandro González Iñárritu, and many more. Look after the jump for our 11 MVFF Must-Sees. For complete festival and ticket information, check out the MVFF official website.

127 Hours
US/UK , 2010, 94 mins.
Directed By Danny Boyle
The latest from director Danny Boyle and writer Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire), 127 Hours tells the true story of Aron Ralston’s (James Franco) remarkable adventure to save himself after a fallen boulder crashes on his arm and traps him in an isolated canyon in Utah.
All My Friends Are Funeral Singers
US, 2010, 84 mins.
Directed By Tim Rutili
Featuring a live soundtrack by Califone! A psychic (Angela Bettis) with a house full of spectral boarders must find a way to let go of her ghostly pals. First-time director and writer Tim Rutili delivers a quirky, dark comedy that is poignant, wholly original and, well, quite spirited.
Spain/Mexico , 2010, 147 mins.
Directed By Alejandro González Iñárritu
In his first directorial effort since Babel, Alejandro González Iñárritu gives us this gorgeous tone poem starring Javier Bardem as the heartbreaking and flawed Uxbal, wrestling with mortality, spirit, and the shady, complex circumstances of his life.
Blue Valentine
US Cinema , 2009, 113 mins.
Directed By Derek Cianfrance
With their relationship floundering, Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams) check into a hotel, hoping the evening will be a life preserver for their troubled marriage and not their final night together, in this moving portrait of love and regret.
US , 2010, 103 mins.
Directed By Tony Goldwyn
Don’t miss the knockout performances from Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell, not to mention a scene-stealing turn by Juliette Lewis, in this heroic true story of Betty Anne Waters, a high school dropout who transformed herself to try to save her brother from a life in prison.
Fair Game
US , 2010, 105 mins.
Directed By Doug Liman
This top-notch political drama tells the true story of outed undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame and her husband, former ambassador Joe Wilson, reaching behind the headlines to a rare relationship brought palpably to life by Naomi Watts and Sean Penn.
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
Sweden/Denmark , 2009, 148 mins.
Directed By Daniel Alfredson
The girl with the dragon tattoo — she who played with fire — is back! In the final installment of the Millennium Trilogy, based on Stieg Larsson’s bestselling novels, goth computer hacker Lisbeth Salander battles for her life in more ways than one.
The King’s Speech
UK/ Australia , 2009, 111 mins.
Directed By Tom Hooper
Tells the true story of an inveterate stutterer, King George VI (Colin Firth, A Single Man), the father of Elizabeth II, and his unconventional speech therapist, Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush, Shine), who helps him find his voice.
UK/ Israel/ France , 2009, 113 mins.
Directed By Julian Schnabel
On the cusp of the Intifada, Miral falls for a fervent political activist, sparking a personal battle that mirrors the greater dilemma around her in Julian Schnabel’s drama about four women searching for justice, hope, and reconciliation amid the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Nowhere Boy
UK , 2009, 97 mins.
Directed By Sam Taylor-Wood
Before he was a music icon, John Lennon was just a rebellious teen trying to find his way in the world. Nowhere Boy hones in on those teenage years, sussing out the emotional and musical roots of Lennon’s rock legacy. Also check out “John Lennon at 70,” a live concert celebrating Lennon’s 70th birthday and Nowhere Boy, featuring The Rubber Souldiers and special surprise guests.
The Tempest
US , 2010, 110 mins.
Directed By Julie Taymor
Magic, illusion, a cast of exotic characters — Shakespeare’s last play is a feast for the senses and the imagination. With a phenomenal cast, including Helen Mirren as a female Prospero, Julie Taymor’s Tempest is roiling and in every way fantastic.

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