Florida Film Festival: Best Bets

ImageThe Florida Film Festival is back, with movies shown this year at Maitland’s Enzian theater and the Regal Winter Park 20.

Over a hundred films, over a week of non-stop movie going.

You can by passes, or individual tickets to your picks, and you can do much of your searching and buying in advance online at their website.

Here are a few films worth catching (a lot of them have full reviews on this website — go to the search box on the right to find them by title, or type in “festival.”

Mud — Sort of Huck Finn meets Stand By Me — Matthew McConaughey is this hobo on the lam, living in an abandoned boat that got washed up into a tree, and two Arkansas teens meet him and start helping him fix the boat and find his way to his true love, Reese Witherspoon. Authentically Southern

Renoir — A French film about the last days of the great French painter, during world war I, in a house full of women devoted to him and sons who dread living in his shadow. One son, Jean Renoir, a veteran of the Great War, falls in love with dad’s hot new nude model.

Starbuck — A loser from Quebec comes to find out that all those sperm donations he made for spending money 20 years ago Image created 533 children, who are suing to find his true identity. Sweet and funny, and Hollywood is already remaking it with Vince Vaughn. See it in French first!

The History of Future Folk — Screwy, eccentric comedy about a guy who plays bluegrass banjo in a Greenwich Village folk music bar, talking about his life as an alien from the planet Hondo between his spacey banjo tunes — and then, another alien shows up and they form a duet, singing in their space suits. Dizzy.

The Taiwan Oyster — in English — a sad romance about American expats teaching English in Taiwan who go on a  quest to bury a friend from their ranks who dies over there.

I rather liked the South African road-picture The Lost Kingdom,” and was underwhelmed by the likes of “This is Martin Bonner,” “Be Good” and “Lore.”

Putzel, an upper East Side Seinfeldian romance, isn’t half bad.

20 Feet FromStardom — about the female backup singers who made records rock in the 60s, 70s and 80s. Merry Clayton, famous for doing that killer solo in the Rolling Stone’s “Gimme Shelter” — will be there tonight, with the filmmaker Morgan NEville

Year of the Living Dead — it’s about the year N ight of the Living Dead was made, and the making of it. Fun.

Seeking Asian Female — creepy loser who longs for an Asian wife gets more than he barganined for, as does the filmmaker. Surprisingly touching.

Big Joy, Marvelous Universe and Far Out Isn’t FAr Enough were pretty good, too. First Comes Love didn’t do much for me.


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