Fresh off of its premiere runs at Telluride and Toronto, the Joel Edgerton-directed Boy Erased has been set as the closing night film for the 26th edition of the Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF). The festival kicks off Oct. 4 and continues through Oct. 8.
Based on the memoir by Garrard Conley, the film stars Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe and director Edgerton. The story examines a young boy’s story when his parents send him to a “healing refuge” to cure his homosexual “disease.” Author Conley is scheduled to appear at this year’s HIFF.
HIFF has also announced this year’s “Breakthrough Artists” nominees which include actors Kayli Carter (Private Life), Cory Michael Smith (1985), and Amandla Stenberg (The Hate U Give). Previous recipients include Emily Blunt, Brie Larson, Adam Driver, Jessica Chastain, Mahershala Ali, Riz Ahmed, Alicia Vikander, Lupita Nyong’o, Emma Stone, Elisabeth Moss, Rooney Mara, Oscar Isaac, and others.
The fest will also screen the World Premiere of Alex Winter’s The Panama Papers and feature screenings of Ben Is Back starring Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges, To Dust starring Matthew Broderick as well as Ashghar Farhadi’s Everybody Knows starring Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz. Other movies programmed for HIFF include Green Book, The Hate U Give, A Private War, Wildlife and Alfonso Cuaron’s buzzworthy Roma.
Read the full lineup below.
CLOSING NIGHT FILM
Sponsored by Silvercup Studios
East Coast Premiere
Director: Joel Edgerton
As the son of a Baptist pastor growing up middle-class in the Arkansas suburbs, Jared (Academy Award nominee Lucas Hedges) seems to be the model son of a loving family. Excelling in school and in a committed relationship, Jared’s heavily conditioned image is shattered when a friend outs him to his community, leading his parents (Academy Award® winners Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe) to send him to Refuge, a church program that aims to reinforce gender roles and heal those with the “disease” of homosexuality. Based on Garrard Conley’s memoir of the same name, director and co-star Joel Edgerton delivers a refreshingly empathetic take on the difficulty of retaining a sense of one’s self in a circumstance that aims to erase it.
THE PANAMA PAPERS
Director: Alex Winter
Leaked by an anonymous source to journalists in 2015, The Panama Papers were an explosive collection of 11.5 million documents, exposing the use of secretive offshore companies to enable widespread tax evasion and money laundering. Largely viewed as the largest data leak in history, the release of the Papers had wide-reaching implications, incriminating 12 current or former world leaders, 128 politicians or public officials, and various celebrities and public figures (among others). In his expansive documentary, director Alex Winter speaks to the journalists who worked to ensure the release, and examines how it reshaped our understanding of corruption amidst the highest forms of government, along with the ongoing effects on global inequality.
Sponsored by Audi
BEN IS BACK
Director: Peter Hedges
On Christmas Eve, the Burns family is stunned by the unexpected arrival of their son Ben (Academy Award nominee Lucas Hedges), returning home for the first time after entering rehab for opioid addiction. His mother, Holly (Academy Award winner Julia Roberts), is quick to eagerly welcome her son in, while the rest of the family are more skeptical of the reasons for his surprise return. As Ben is torn between proving his sobriety and falling into his old ways, Roberts perfectly portrays a mother struggling with her own warring instincts in this affecting look at one family’s struggle with a national epidemic.
Director: Shawn Snyder
Shmuel (Geza Rohrig, last seen at HIFF with 2015’s SON OF SAUL), a Hasidic cantor living in upstate New York, is unable to cope with the untimely death of his wife. Struggling to find religious solace in the face of tremendous grief and plagued by nightmares about his wife’s decaying body, Shmuel looks to Albert (Matthew Broderick), a community college biology professor, to teach him more about the decomposition process facing her. In director Shawn Snyder’s darkly comic first feature, the two form an unlikely bond via clandestine biological experiments, despite the blasphemous consequences.
East Coast Premiere
Director: Asghar Farhadi
Transplanting his trademark psychological drama from his native Iran to the foothills of Spain, two-time Academy Award®-winning director Asghar Farhadi (THE PAST [HIFF 2014], THE SALESMAN [HIFF 2017]) returns with a story of secrets and intrigue in Spanish wine country. Returning to her childhood home to celebrate a family wedding, Laura (Penélope Cruz) finds long-simmering tensions coming to the surface when her daughter suddenly disappears amidst a power outage, with her distanced family and ex (Javier Bardem) the most likely suspects. Beautifully realized and constantly engrossing, Farhadi has crafted another masterful thriller with a deep ensemble cast of Spanish legends, led by Bardem, Cruz, and Bárbara Lennie.
East Coast Premiere
Director: Peter Farrelly
It’s 1962 America, and impeccably stylish jazz musician Don Shirley (Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali) needs to hire a bodyguard to get him safely from venue to venue on his upcoming Southern tour. Enter Tony “Lip” Valelonga (Viggo Mortensen): a loud-mouthed Italian-American bouncer who’s quicker to enter a situation fists first if it means coming out on top. Together, the unlikely pair set out on a road trip through the American South, using the Negro Motorist Green Book as a guide to find welcoming lodging; along the way, they forge a surprising camaraderie in this heartwarming and comedic true story.
THE HAPPY PRINCE
Director: Rupert Everett
In the final three years of his life (1897-1900), Oscar Wilde finds himself adrift. Coming off the heels of his trial for indecency and subsequent imprisonment, Wilde lives out his last days in exile, moving between a small group of enduring friends (Colin Firth, Edwin Thomas) under assumed names and torn between whether to go back to his ex-lover (Colin Morgan) or estranged wife (Emily Watson). Written, directed by, and starring Rupert Everett as the ailing Wilde, THE HAPPY PRINCE is at once a moving evocation of the literary genius’ final act and a stirring paean to the brilliant wit that endured to his last moments.
THE HATE U GIVE
Director: George Tillman Jr.
As a way to escape the limited options of the streets she grew up on, sixteen-year-old black teenager Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg) is torn between two lives: one at school amidst her predominantly rich, upper-class white classmates, and another within her working-class neighborhood. But Starr’s dual life is torn apart when a reunion with a childhood sweetheart ends in tragedy at the hands of a local police officer, forcing her to take a side amidst a swelling of protests in the local community. Adapting Angie Thomas’s award-winning novel to the big screen with the same sense of urgency that shot it to the top of the bestsellers list, THE HATE U GIVE is a stirring look at one teenager’s personal awakening.
A PRIVATE WAR
East Coast Premiere
Director: Matthew Heineman
In an industry defined by those willing to place themselves in the midst of tremendous danger, photojournalist Marie Colvin (Academy-Award nominee Rosamund Pike) distinguished herself as one of the world’s most celebrated war correspondents. In his feature narrative debut, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Matthew Heineman (CARTEL LAND, CITY OF GHOSTS) pays tribute to Colvin’s extraordinary life both on and off the battlefield. Portrayed with rebellious conviction by Pike, and aided by a supporting cast including Jamie Dornan and Stanley Tucci, A PRIVATE WAR is a thrilling look at one individual’s devotion to bringing a voice to the voiceless.
East Coast Premiere
Director: Emilio Estevez
As the day’s activities wind down and library workers Stuart (Emilio Estevez) and Myra (Jena Malone) prepare to close for the day, a group of homeless patrons decide to stage an act of rebellion when they refuse to leave the building to find somewhere to sleep in the wintry night. Soon the scene outside becomes a carnival of riot gear-wearing officers and local news reporters, leading to a standoff between the city’s have’s and have-not’s. Aided by a deep supporting cast, including Jeffrey Wright, Michael K. Williams, and Alec Baldwin, writer, director, and star Emilio Estevez continues to showcase his skills as a gifted multi-hyphenate force with his latest ode to the struggles of the disenfranchised.
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Inspired by the early 1970s Mexico City of his childhood, celebrated auteur Alfonso Cuarón (GRAVITY, CHILDREN OF MEN, Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN) returns with this semi-autobiographical look at a middle-class family making a life for itself within a time of political turbulence and patriarchal rule. Filmed on a giant canvas in 65mm and utilizing stunningly detailed black and white photography, ROMA recreates the world of his past with cinematic grandeur and vibrancy. Acting as his own cinematographer and working with a remarkable cast of largely unknown actors, Cuarón places the viewer in the middle of a world alive with the anxious energy of the period, while paying respect to the individuals who would help to shape his life.
Director: Paul Dano
In 1960s Montana, Jerry Brinson (Jake Gyllenhaal) finds his family at yet another crossroads when he loses his job at the local golf course. With a wildfire raging in the surrounding mountains, Jerry decides to join a group of firefighters and leaves his wife Jeannette (Carey Mulligan) and teenage son (Ed Oxenbould) on their own in their small town, where both begin to question the stability of the life they’ve known for so long. With this astonishingly well-realized directorial debut, Paul Dano reveals himself to be a director of considerable emotional depth in this melancholic look at the steady decline of the nuclear family, anchored by Mulligan’s towering central performance.