Ebert Fest has traditionally been curated by one of history’s most loved film critics, and features a lineup of classics and new movies that may have been overlooked by other critics. Here are a few festival titles available in the library if you’d like to check them out or program your own fest.
This dark comedy paints a compelling portrait of Mavis Gray, aging high school beauty who is facing a quarter-life crisis. Charlize Theron imbues Mavis with a kind of manic energy fueled by career and relationship anxiety that accomplishes a rare feat: creating something utterly humane in a character that is essentially unlikable.
It seems like Spike Lee was too young in both his career and personal life to create the kind of bold statement this film makes. Colorful, audacious, and hilarious, he tackles the often taboo topic of race in an entertaining way. Featuring a wide cast of characters on a Brooklyn block, Lee exposes nuance, hypocrisy, and cultural stereotyping among every race, making race itself the main driving force of the narrative.
Viewing Capote remind us just what a loss to the film culture the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman created. Playing the famous author researching the rural murders that would lead to the penning of In Cold Blood and his eventual breakdown, Hoffman is a force to behold. As was pointed out in its introduction at the festival, Hoffman’s performance captures in Capote his connection to the murderer he fell in love with, the eyes of an abandoned child.
Image of “thumbs up” by user Dbennbenn on Wikimedia Commons.