Guests announced also include Tom Skerritt, Jim Gaffigan, Tatiana Maslany, and more.
For the last six years, the Chicago Film Critics Association – an organization of film critics across print, online and broadcast media in the city – has hosted the Chicago Critics Film Festival, a week-long highlight of some of the year’s most anticipated festival faves from Sundance, SXSW, and more. Today, the CFCA has announced their full lineup for their seventh annual CCFF, and it’s got us at The Spool all a-flutter.
Running May 17-23 at the Music Box Theatre, the fest opening with Alex Thompson and Kelly O’Sullivan‘s Saint Frances, the tale of a down on her luck nanny (Sullivan) striking up a friendship with her six-year-old charge (Ramona Edith-Williams) in the wake of her abortion. The fest will close out with the Paul Harrill-directed horror-comedy Light From Light, in which a single mom and paranormal investigator (Marin Ireland) investigates a Tennesee farmhouse owned by a widower (Jim Gaffigan, who will be in attendance at the fest).
Sandwiched between those festival faves will be a number of exciting new films from earlier this year, including the Chicago premiere of Danny Boyle‘s Yesterday (aka What If Everyone Forgot The Beatles, Except One Dude Who Decided to Get Famous Off Their Songs?), Jennifer Kent‘s creepy Babadook followup The Nightingale, Tom Cullen‘s romantic drama Pink Wall starring Jay Duplass and Tatiana Maslany, and the Awkwafina-led Asian-American comedy The Farewell, among others.
In addition to those headliners, the fest also features some smaller fare that looks really enticing, based on notices from earlier this year – the Jesse Eisenberg-led kung-fu dramedy The Art of Self-Defense; Julius Onah‘s heartbreaking adoption story Luce, and the Olympic Village-set (and filmed!) romance Olympic Dreams.
It’s also fitting that this announcement comes on the day of Alien‘s 40th anniversary, as this year’s fest will also feature a 35mm screening of the Ridley Scott classic, with Tom Skerritt in attendance! CCFF is always great about shaking up its bevy of newcomers with a beloved work of cinema, making the fest a welcome excuse to revisit old faves while finding some new ones.
Our very own Matt Cipolla has written capsule reviews of a surprising number of these for his Sundance coverage, which you can find here. That being said, we’ll still be covering the lion’s share of the fest, whether through dispatches, full-length reviews, or interviews with festival attendees.