by Patrick Bromley
The Chicago Critics Film Festival is an annual tradition for me. I've been going since the first festival in 2013, when it was held in Rosemont, IL, and lasted a weekend. It was the first time I ever covered a festival for this site. It has since expanded to last a week, added many more films, and is now held at Chicago's famous Music Box Theatre, a movie theater that comes up at least twice a week at F This Movie!. In the years since it began, I have also become a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association, but my participation in the festival is still limited to that of an attendee. The films are selected and schedule curated by other members of the organization, meaning I am able to go in blind and enjoy the movies as a fanboy. I've had many pleasant surprises and seen many of my favorite movies of the last six years at CCFF -- titles like Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Slow West, I Declare War, and The Fits -- and with one or two exceptions over the course of six years and dozens of movies, I've been happy and appreciative to see every title I've seen at the fest. Even those that left me more or less cold were still films with which I was happy to have spent my time.
This year's lineup is a strong one, with all kinds of movies from all kinds of genres and dozens of special guests. These are the 10 I'm most looking forward to seeing.
The Chicago Critics Film Festival runs May 17-23. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.
1. The Nightingale (dir. Jennifer Kent)
The Babadook is my most anticipated movie of this year's fest. Here's the summary from IMDb:
Set in 1825, Clare, a young Irish convict woman, chases a British officer through the rugged Tasmanian wilderness, bent on revenge for a terrible act of violence he committed against her family. On the way she enlists the services of an Aboriginal tracker named Billy, who is also marked by trauma from his own violence-filled past.
Sure! I mean, I'm not excited to see the movie for what it's about but because of who made it. I'd see whatever Jennifer Kent made next after The Babadook.
Screens Sunday, May 19 at 7 pm
2. The Perfection (dir. Richard Shepard)
Screens Friday, May 17 at Midnight and Monday, May 20 at 3 pm
3. Brittany Runs a Marathon (dir. Paul Downs Colaizzo)
Screens Saturday, May 18 at 3:30 pm
4. Greener Grass (dir. Jocelyn Deboer, Dawn Luebbe)
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.
Screens Friday, May 17 at 9:45 pm
5. Pink Wall (dir. Tom Cullen)
Screens Tuesday, May 21 at 7:15 pm
6. Them That Follow (dir. Britt Poulton, Dan Madison Savage)
Screens Wednesday, May 22 at 5 pm
7. In Fabric (dir. Peter Strickland)
Tobe Hooper's I'm Dangerous Tonight -- Strickland is one of those directors whose every new movie I'll be sure to check out.
Screens Saturday, May 18 at Midnight
8. Wild Rose (dir. Tom Harper)
Screens Saturday, May 18 at 11 am
9. The Farewell (dir. Lulu Wang)
Screens Monday, May 20 at 7:15 pm
10. Monos (dir. Alejandro Landes)
Screens Wednesday, May 22 at 3 pm
Look for coverage from the Chicago Critics Film Festival beginning next week!