Big and small movies debut at Twin Cities festival

  • Updated: September 17, 2012 - 8:43 PM
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Actor Dustin Hoffman makes his directing debut with “Quartet,” a character study of retired opera singers starring Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay , Billy Connolly and Pauline Collins. It screens Oct. 14

Several of the season's most anticipated films will have their regional premiere at the Twin Cities Film Festival. The series, running Oct. 12-20 at the Showplace Icon theater in St. Louis Park, showcases locally made films and documentary features alongside studio offerings that already are being mentioned as probable Oscar nominees.

Actor Dustin Hoffman makes his directing debut with "Quartet," a character study of retired opera singers starring Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly and Pauline Collins. It screens Oct. 14

"The Sessions" (Oct. 16) is an affecting comedy-drama inspired by the true story of a paralyzed polio survivor and the sexual surrogate who helped him lose his virginity in his late 30s. John Hawkes, of Alexandria, Minn., and Oscar-winner Helen Hunt star. Australian director Ben Lewin, who lost the use of his legs to polio, directs with great humor and sensitivity.

The crowd-pleasing "Silver Linings Playbook," starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, plays Oct. 18. The oddball love story took the top award at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sunday, a likely indication of more awards to come. Past winners of the Toronto prize include "Slumdog Millionaire" and "The King's Speech."

"Not Fade Away," a rock 'n' roll coming-of-age tale set in 1964 New Jersey, is the feature directing debut from David Chase, creator of HBO's "The Sopranos." It screens Oct. 19.

The festival boasts a total of 60 films, including a special screening of "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial." The program opens with the Jeff Bridges hunger documentary "A Place at the Table" Oct. 12 and concludes with the Minnesota-shot Justin Long comedy "Lumpy" Oct. 20.

Filmmakers and cast members attending the screenings will be announced later. The complete festival lineup is at www.startribune.com/a1723.

For more information and to purchase tickets (available beginning Wednesday), visit www.twincitiesfilmfest.org. COLIN COVERT

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