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Movies from Margot Robbie, Jessica Chastain and Woody Harrelson highlight the 40th Denver Film Festival red carpet screenings

October 6, 2017 Updated: October 8, 2017 at 8:55 am
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photo - Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba in "Molly's Game."
Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba in "Molly's Game." 

Friday the Denver Film Society announced the red carpet screening lineup of the films that will be featured at this year’s Denver Film Festival, which runs November 1-12. The festival kicks off with  “Lady Bird,” directed by Greta Gerwig (“Jackie”) and starring Saoirse Ronan (“Brooklyn,” “City of Ember”). Laurie Metcalf (“Roseanne”) also stars in this dramatic comedy that explores the relationship between mothers and daughters. 

The event closes with “I, Tonya” starring Margot Robbie as former ice skater Tonya Harding. Films starring Idris Elba, Stanley Tucci, Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson, Kyra Sedgwick, and Jessica Chastain will also have red carpet screenings.

The full program lineup for the 12-day Festival will be announced on Tuesday, October 10. Individual tickets go on sale that same day. You can buy them online at www.denverfilm.org or in-person at the Sie FilmCenter (2510 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO 80206). 

“The 40th Denver Film Festival's Red Carpet screenings showcase the best of Hollywood specialty cinema,” says festival director Britta Erickson. “Beginning with the charming ‘Lady Bird,’ Greta Gerwig's directorial debut, and continuing with Kyra Sedgwick's memorable turn in ‘Submission,’ Frances McDormand's unforgettable portrayal in ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ and Margot Robbie's true-to-life performance in ‘I, Tonya.’ The red carpet schedule has something for every film lover to enjoy."

In addition to red carpet screenings, the Denver Film Festival will present more than 200 titles representing local, national and international independent films, as well as industry panels, workshops, achievement awards and tributes. The full list of red carpet screenings along with film descriptions is below.

OPENING NIGHT
LADY BIRD” - USA / Director: Greta Gerwig
Acclaimed actress Greta Gerwig makes her directorial debut with this dramatic comedy, which explores both the humor and the pathos of the turbulent relationship between mothers and daughters while pondering the unmatched beauty of a place called home; starring Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf and Tracy Letts.

CENTERPIECE
SUBMISSION” - USA / Director: Richard Levine
A deeply powerful drama about a professor caught in a midlife crisis, a love triangle and a serious ethical dilemma all at the same time. Adapted from Francine Prose’s acclaimed novel Blue Angel, this biting morality play about lust, ambition and the allure of scandal features outstanding performances by Stanley Tucci and Kyra Sedgwick.

SPOTLIGHT
THE BALLAD OF LEFTY BROWN” - USA / Director: Jared Moshe
When famed frontier lawman Eddie Johnson (Peter Fonda) is killed, his longtime sidekick Lefty Brown (Bill Pullman) will stop at nothing to avenge his death in this homage to the golden age of Westerns, which considers the gray area between the heroes who wear the white hats and the villains in black.

BIG NIGHT
MOLLY'S GAME” - USA / Director:  Aaron Sorkin
Written and directed with pizzazz by the inimitable Aaron Sorkin, this drama is based on the true story of Molly Bloom, a Colorado-bred Olympic-class skier who ran a high-stakes poker game for the rich and famous until the FBI caught up with her. The all-star cast includes Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera and Chris O'Dowd.

RED CARPET MATINEE
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI” - USA / Director: Martin McDonagh
In this dark comedic drama from acclaimed Irish-British writer-director Martin McDonagh, Frances McDormand stars as the mother of a murder victim. With the case unsolved, she commissions three billboards that send a message to the revered local police chief (Woody Harrelson). And so a furious battle for justice begins. Sam Rockwell co-stars.

CLOSING NIGHT
I, TONYA” - USA / Director: Craig Gillespie
Director Craig Gillespie traces the rise and ignominious fall of competitive ice-skater-turned-tabloid villain Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie) in this outrageous, tragicomic biopic built around one of the most ridiculous scandals in the history of American sports.

Gazette media columnist Terry Terrones is a member of the Television Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. You can follow him on Twitter at @terryterrones.

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