11 Most Popular Film Screenings at the Chicago International Film Festival

Venice, Telluride, Toronto and New York may officially kick off awards season, but the Chicago International Film Festival (running October 12-23) has the advantage of showcasing the best selections from the slew of world premieres of late August/early September. . This year’s lineup includes at least four likely Oscar nominees and a surprise horror hit exported from TIFF.

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Although some of the biggest fall releases are conspicuously absent, like Luca Guadagninoit is bones and allChicago audiences will get to see a few award contenders who skipped New York, not to mention the highly anticipated Knives out after. The Golden Lion-winning documentary is also on view, All the beauty and bloodshed. Nothing beats fall in the Windy City, except maybe an evening at the Music Box; buy a ticket now and enjoy both!


“The Banshees of Inisherin”

Of The son at Empire of Light, a number of the season’s top contenders got off to a rocky start. But one title on the fall festival circuit that everyone seems to love is The Banshees of Inisherin, Martin McDonagh‘s followed by Best Picture nomination Three billboards outside of Ebbing, Missouri. Set in 1923 on the fictional Irish island of Inisherin, Banshees is about two men (Colin Farrel and Brendan Gleeson) whose friendship comes to an abrupt end.

Farrell (and his eyebrows) has received an endless parade of applause since the film premiered in early September in Venice, where he won the Volpi Cup on Brendan Fraser. Co-stars Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condonand Barry Keoghan are also being discussed as potential Oscar nominees.


As The Banshees of Inisherin, close is about the fallout from the dissolution of a platonic male relationship. The film was picked up by A24 when it premiered in May at the Cannes Film Festival and won the Grand Prix (shared with Claire DennisThe stars at noon). It went on to win the top prize at the Sydney Film Festival (placing it alongside Parasite) and was selected by Belgium to compete for Best International Feature Film at the 95th Academy Awards.

Opinions call close an insightful and devastating coming-of-age drama. It remains to be seen if the movie can become this year’s movie. Cold War, another roundWhere drive my car by competing outside of International Feature.

“Decision to leave”

Park Chan-wookThe latest film, which premiered in Cannes earlier this year, will premiere in Chicago upon its theatrical release. A sleep-deprived detective (Hae-il Park) falls in love with a mysterious widow (Tang Wei) while investigating a murder.

Decision to leave was selected on Hirokazu Koreedait is Broker (also screened at the festival) as South Korea’s submission for Best International Feature Film. Following its screening at the Chicago International Film Festival, it will begin an exclusive engagement at the Gene Siskel Film Center on the 28th.

“Empire of Light”

Sam Mendesthe director of american beauty, Revolutionary Road, celestial falland 1917 teamed up with legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins for Empire of Light. Set in Mendes’ childhood England, the film follows a theater manager (Olivia Colman) who begins a relationship with a much younger man (Michael Ward). It addresses mental health, racism, and the power of cinema to both heal and unify.

Empire of Light didn’t get a warm reception in Telluride and Toronto, and despite what critics are calling another fantastic performance from Colman, the film is starting to move out of the conversation. But underestimate Colman and the Academy’s love of movies about movies at your peril. The film skipped NYFF and will screen in Chicago before opening in theaters on December 9.

‘Glass Onion: A Mystery at Daggers Drawn’

Daniel Craig returns as Benoit Blanc in the highly anticipated 2019 sequel Knives out. The Thrombeys have been traded for a new set of delightfully despicable one percenters with whom White must tangle to snuff out a murderer. Director Rian Johnson definitely didn’t cut star power for this one; the cast includes Janelle Monae, Kate Hudson, Edward Norton, Leslie Odom Jr., Ethan Hawke, Catherine Hahnand David Bautista.

Following the failed premiere of Alejandro G. Iñárrituit is Bardo, false chronicle of a handful of truths, Netflix has no apparent competitor. Some have speculated that Glass Onion could fill that void, making it the fourth major sequel this year to be in the running for Best Picture (besides Top Gun: Maverick, Black Panther: Wakanda Foreverand Avatar: The Way of the Water). Whether Glass Onion make the cut or not, it’s sure to be a hit when the streamer makes it available to subscribers two days before Christmas. In the meantime, Chicagoans can catch it as a festival centerpiece.

RELATED: ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’ Review: Rian Johnson Peels Back the Layers in a Masterful Whodunit | TIFF 2022


If there’s a dark horse contender for best lead actor, it’s Jeremy Pope for his performance as a young African-American gay sailor in inspection. Gabrielle Union co-stars as the main character’s homophobic mother.

Set in the 1990s during Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the film plays like a cross between Moonlight and men of honor. The A24 release marks the directorial debut of Bratton Eleganceand festival critics point to him as a talent to watch.

‘She says’

Released five years after Harvey Weinstein the scandal broke out, Maria Schraderit is She says to the current urgency All the President’s Men made in 1976. Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan star as two New York Times reporters who uncovered systemic abuses of power in Hollywood and sparked the #MeToo movement.

The film will follow its New York premiere with a screening in Chicago. Expect to hear a lot about it in the coming months, regardless of its position in the awards race.


Sick is set in the spring of 2020 and follows two best friends who lock themselves together in a vast and remote private residence. However, the couple discovers that they are not alone. This skinny 83-minute slasher is directed by John Hyam (Only) and written by Kevin Williamson (Scream).

Sick received a host of very enthusiastic reactions from the crowds who attended its premiere as part of TIFF’s Midnight Madness slate. It was only a matter of time before the coronavirus pandemic was successfully integrated into a genre thriller.

‘The whale’

Adapted from Samuel D. Hunterthe piece of the same name, Darren Aronofskyit is The whale stars Brendan Fraser as a 600-pound English teacher who, near death, tries to reconcile with his teenage daughter (Sadie sink). The film takes place entirely in the main character’s apartment, where he debates literature, love and God with a cast of characters that includes his nurse and his best friend (Hong Chau), a Mormon missionary (Ty Simpkins), and his ex-wife (Samantha Morton).

RELATED: ‘The Whale’: Brenassaince Continues at TIFF as Brendan Fraser Receives Tribute Award

The whale was one of the hottest tickets to Venice and Toronto, but skipped a potential showcase in New York. Although Fraser has received unanimous praise – videos of his tearful appearances at the festival have been widely circulated, and many say the race for best actor is effectively over – the film itself has sparked debate about how he represents obesity. This discourse is only likely to intensify when more people see The whale Later this year.

‘White noise’

Noah Baumbach brings the “unadaptable” Don DeLillo novel White noise on Netflix in December, but you can catch it earlier if you’re in the Windy City on October 23. The festival’s closing film was first unveiled in Venice before serving as the NYFF opener. Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig titles the absurd comedy as parents trying to guide their family through an “airborne toxic event.”

White noise is one of the most glaring questions of the season. Despite Baumbach’s recent success with Marriage story, his latest big-budget commentary on consumerism and popular entertainment may be too bizarre for mainstream awards bodies. However, he can do well with crit groups and sneak into the race.

“Speaking Women”

Sarah Pollyit is women who talk is one of the few contenders this year to have appeared at every fall festival. Adapted from the novel by Miriam Toews, the acclaimed bedroom drama is about three generations of Mennonite women who come together to discuss a series of crimes in their village. The all-star cast includes Rooney Mara, Jessie Buckley, Claire Foy, Sheila McCarthy, Ben Wishawand, in a very small role, Frances McDormand.

RELATED: ‘Women Talking’ Review: Sarah Polley’s Captivating Conversation Has One of the Best Castings of the Year | TIFF 2022

A sticking point has been the color palette, which many say is too murky. The writing and performance, however, are in the winning conversation. women who talk is currently the favorite to take the best adapted screenplay. It opens in theaters in early December.

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