‘Mud,’ ‘Spectacular Now’ among Atlanta Film Festival highlights
By Howard Pousner
This week, the Atlanta Film Festival made opening and closing film announcements for the March 15-24 fest, with tickets expected to go on sale soon. Four other fest bookings already are on sale.
- “Mud,” an Arkansas-filmed drama starring Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon, will be the opening night feature on March 15. Actor Ray McKinnon will be in attendance at the Plaza Theatre screening. Written and directed by Jeff Nichols, the Mark Twain-inspired drama, about teens who help a fugitive (McConaughey) evade bounty hunters, received positive notices at the Cannes and Sundance film festivals.
- “The Spectacular Now,” directed by Athens native James Ponsoldt (”Smashed”), will close the fest on March 23, also at the Plaza. (March 24 is dedicated to encore showings.) It stars Miles Teller (”Rabbit Hole”) as a charmer with a drinking issue who catches bookish Shailene Woodley (”The Descendants”) on the rebound. After a Sundance showing, Entertainment Weekly called it a “soulful and authentic” teen movie “about the experience of being caught on the cusp and truly not knowing which way you’ll land.”
Previously announced and already on sale:
- A live performance (with film clips) by the Whitest Kids U Know, the sketch comedy group from cable’s IFC channel (March 16, Plaza).
- “Faces in the Mirror,” the story of a young man who returns home to bury his father and winds up on a dream-like odyssey (March 19, 7 Stages) .
- “Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp,” a documentary about the late reformed-pimp-turned-author (March 22, Plaza).
- “Scarred But Smarter: Life n Times of Drivin n Cryin,” Eric Von Haessler’s loving documentary about the long-time Atlanta band (March 22, Plaza).
While tickets aren’t on sale yet, the fest has said the following films will be included in its yet-to-be-announced full lineup: the documentaries “As Goes Janesville,” “The Institute,” “Mohammed to Maya” and “Submit the Documentary”; and the narrative features “A Band of Rogues,” “The Suicide Kid” and “Cinema Six.”