Organizers of the fifth-annual Twin Cities Film Fest (TCFF), which runs Oct. 16-25, were locking down the World War II thriller “The Imitation Game” in the middle of the Toronto Film Festival. Since then, the movie has won that fest’s People’s Choice Award, an honor that has led to Oscar best picture nominations in four of the past five years.
The movie stars Benedict Cumberbatch as gay scientist Alan Turing, who broke a key code that undermined the Nazi war effort. It will screen Oct. 24 at TCFF, which takes place at the Showplace ICON Theaters in St. Louis Park.
The movie vies with director Jason Reitman’s dramedy “Men, Women & Children” and “Wild,” starring Reese Witherspoon, as the festival’s “biggest gets,” said Steve Snyder, TCFF artistic director.
Reitman’s movie, the festival’s opening-night feature, meets a longtime desire of Snyder and TCFF executive director Jatin Setia. “We’ve been chasing Reitman films for years,” Snyder said. “He’s at the top tier for making watchable, sometimes divisive, but always rewarding movies.”
“Men, Women and Children” tracks several suburban families who deal with frustrations by turning to social media and the Internet. Its large cast includes Adam Sandler, Rosemarie DeWitt and Jennifer Garner.
“Wild,” based on the bestselling book by Cheryl Strayed about her marathon solo hike on the West Coast, is widely seen as an awards contender. It screens Oct. 25.
Other TCFF highlights include “Stray Dog” (Oct. 23), a documentary by Debra Granik (“Winter’s Bone”); “Comet” (Oct. 22), a romantic fantasy starring Emmy Rossum and Justin Long; Courteney Cox’s directorial debut, “Just Before I Go” (Oct. 19), starring Minnesotan Seann William Scott; the filmed-in-Minnesota “Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter” (Oct. 23); and “Time Lapse” (Oct. 25), a sci-fi movie that Snyder calls “a smart thriller.”
The 10-day festival will show 40 full-length movies and 37 shorts, many of them with Minnesota connections. Ticketing and scheduling information here.
Claude Peck • 612-673-7977 • On Twitter: @ClaudePeck