New from Kevin Wozniak on Kevflix: 2022 Chicago International Film Festival: 10 Movies to be Excited About

The 2022 Chicago International Film Festival kicks off this week and it is a film festival that I truly love. This was the first festival that I ever attended back in 2008 and it is one I have attended every year since. It is a truly great film festival that does not get the love and attention of some higher-profile festivals but deserves to be mentioned as one of the best film festivals in North America.  It highlights so many unique movies from all around the world and showcases some of the best filmmakers working today. Like most years, this year’s festival has some of the biggest and buzziest titles of 2022, so making a list of only ten was a tough task. Here are my picks for the most exciting movies playing at the 2022 Chicago International Film Festival.

You can find the full schedule of everything that is playing at the 2022 Chicago International Film Festival here.

 

All film descriptions are courtesy of IMDb.

 

AFTERSUN

Aftersun (A24)
Frankie Corio (left) and Paul Mescal in Aftersun (A24)

What It’s About: Sophie reflects on the shared joy and private melancholy of a holiday she took with her father twenty years earlier. Memories real and imagined fill the gaps between as she tries to reconcile the father she knew with the man she didn’t.

Why I’m Excited: Aftersun made its debut at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and since then has only seen its buzz grow bigger and bigger. From early reviews of the film’s premise, this sounds like it could be a heart-wrenching experience.

BROKER

L to R: Dong-won Gang, Ji-eun Lee, Seung-soo Im, and Song Kang-ho in Broker (Neon)

What It’s About: Boxes that are left out for people to anonymously drop off their unwanted babies.

Why I’m Excited: Starring Song Kang-Ho (Parasite), in a performance that won him Best Actor at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Broker looks to be the next great film in master Hirokazu Koreeda’s filmography.

CLOSE

Close (A24)
Gustav De Waele (left) and Eden Dambrine (right) in Close (A24)

What It’s About: The intense friendship between two thirteen-year old boys Leo and Remi suddenly gets disrupted. Struggling to understand what has happened, Léo approaches Sophie, Rémi’s mother. “Close” is a film about friendship and responsibility.

Why I’m Excited: Winner of the Grand Jury Prize (second place) at Cannes (tied with Claire Denis’s Stars at Noon, respectively), Belgium’s submission for Best International Film at the 2023 Oscars has been called devastating and powerful.

DECISION TO LEAVE

Decision to Leave (Mubi)
Go Kyung-Pyo (left) and Tang Wei (right) in Decision to Leave (Mubi)

What It’s About: A detective investigating a man’s death in the mountains meets the dead man’s mysterious wife in the course of his dogged sleuthing.

Why I’m Excited: Decision to Leave is yet another Park Chan-wook thriller, which is really all I need to get excited. Oh, and the fact that many call it one of the best films of his career also helps.

DEVOTION

Jonathon Majors in Devotion (Columbia Pictures)
Jonathan Majors in Devotion (Columbia Pictures)

What It’s About: A pair of U.S. Navy fighter pilots risk their lives during the Korean War and become some of the Navy’s most celebrated wingmen.

Why I’m Excited: J.D. Dillard is an exciting filmmaker (you all should watch his 2016 film, Sleight, on Netflix) and Jonathan Majors is one of the best rising talents we have working today. The two of them should make for a great team.

GLASS ONION: A KNIVES OUT MYSTERY

Daniel Craig in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (Netflix)
Daniel Craig in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (Netflix)

What It’s About: Famed Southern detective Benoit Blanc travels to Greece for his latest case.

Why I’m Excited: The first Knives Out was one of my favorite movies of 2019 and a movie I rewatch quite often. I cannot wait to see what Rian Johnson has in store for Benoit Blanc.

SHE SAID

Carey Mulligan (left) and Zoe Kazan (right) in She Said (Universal)
Carey Mulligan (left) and Zoe Kazan (right) in She Said (Universal)

What It’s About: New York Times reporters Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor break one of the most important stories in a generation — a story that helped launch the #MeToo movement and shattered decades of silence around the subject of sexual assault in Hollywood.

Why I’m Excited: She Said has the potential to follow in the footsteps of All the President’s Men and Spotlight as an all-time procedural due to its powerful and recent subject matter and a great cast. 

THE WHALE

Brendan Fraser in The Whale (A24)
Brendan Fraser in The Whale (A24)

What It’s About: A reclusive English teacher living with severe obesity attempts to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter for one last chance at redemption.

Why I’m Excited: The latest film from Oscar-nominated director Darren Aronofsky finds Brendan Fraser in a role that has him being touted as the favorite to win Best Actor at this year’s Oscars. The Fraser comeback narrative is a great one, let’s see if the performance is just as good.

WHITE NOISE

White Noise (Netflix)
Adam Driver in White Noise (Netflix)

What It’s About: Dramatizes a contemporary American family’s attempts to deal with the mundane conflicts of everyday life while grappling with the universal mysteries of love, death, and the possibility of happiness in an uncertain world.

Why I’m Excited: Noah Baumbach’s follow-up to his Oscar-winning Marriage Story stars Adam Driver, Greta Gerwig, and Don Cheadle in a pandemic thriller. Baumbach always works well with Driver and Gerwig and I’m excited to see him dive into the thriller genre.

WOMEN TALKING

L to R: Michelle McLeod, Sheila McCarthy, Jessie Buckley, Liv McNeil, Vivien Endicott Douglas, Claire Foy, Rooney Mara, and Judith Ivey in Women Talking (United Artists)
L to R: Michelle McLeod, Sheila McCarthy, Jessie Buckley, Liv McNeil, Vivien Endicott Douglas, Claire Foy, Rooney Mara, and Judith Ivey in Women Talking (United Artists)

What It’s About: In 2010, the women of an isolated religious community grapple with reconciling their reality with their faith. Based on the novel by Miriam Toews.

Why I’m Excited: Director Sarah Polley has assembled a stacked ensemble featuring Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, Frances McDormand, and Ben Whishaw. This is one of the best ensembles of the year in a movie that has gotten nothing but raves from its earlier festival screenings.

BONUS: CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON (30th Anniversary Screening)

Michelle Yeoh in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Sony Picture Classics)
Michelle Yeoh in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Sony Picture Classics)

What It’s About: A young Chinese warrior steals a sword from a famed swordsman and then escapes into a world of romantic adventure with a mysterious man in the frontier of the nation.

Why I’m Excited: Technically a 32nd-anniversary screening, but I don’t care. Seeing Ang Lee’s Wuxia masterpiece on the big screen might be one of the cinematic highlights not only of the festival but of the year.

 

The 2022 Chicago International Film Festival takes place in Chicago, IL from October 12th – October 23rd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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