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