First annual Twin Cities Film Fest kicks off tonight: 5 flicks I’m excited to see

The first ever Twin Cities Film Fest (TCFF) kicks off with a bang tonight with the critically-acclaimed film Waiting for “Superman” and an appearance from Academy Award®-winning director and producer Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth). The tickets are sold out for this, so it looks like it’s going to be a bustling and festive evening at the Mall of America! I’m scheduled to volunteer for a few hours, but hopefully I could get a glimpse of the film in between breaks. But if not, I might try catch it once it opens (exclusively) at the Landmark Uptown theatre starting Friday, October 1.

I’m hoping to see at least 4-5 films during the festival, but we’ll see if that’s possible given my work and volunteering schedule. For sure I’m going to see Nowhere Boy on Wednesday night. The movie chronicles John Lennon’s childhood, covering the time when he met Paul McCartney and how that leads to forming the Beatles. It boast a great British cast of Aaron Johnson (Kick-Ass) as Lennon, Kristin Scott Thomas as his aunt Mimi, Anne-Marie Duff and David Morrissey. Critics embrace Sam Taylor Wood’s directing debut, the film’s got 84% fresh rating from Rotten Tomatoes. The trailer definitely got me intrigued:

It’s playing Wednesday 9/29, 7:00pm | AMC Block E 15 (downtown Minneapolis). Tickets are still available at the film page on TCFF website.

After my shift on Friday night, I hope to catch Secretariat. It’s another movie based on a true story of the spectacular journey of the 1973 Triple Crown winner and what may be the greatest racehorse of all time. It stars Diane Lane, John Malkovich and James Cromwell. It looks like a good ‘ol rousing entertainment about triumphing against all odds. It’s playing Friday, 10/1, 7:00pm @ AMC Block E 15, which is one week ahead of the nationwide release date!

The other three I’m hoping to catch are:

The Two Escobars 9/29, 5:00pm | Theatres at Mall of America
When my soccer aficionado colleague Scot told me about the story I was intrigued.

Pablo Escobar was the richest, most powerful drug kingpin in the world, ruling the Medellin Cartel with an iron fist. Andrés Escobar was the biggest soccer star in Colombia. The two were not related, but their fates were inextricably–and fatally–intertwined.

Hollywood Reporter had some nice things to say about the documentary, saying that “…One doesn’t have to be a sports fan to respond to this true tale of soccer, politics, organized crime and murder” and a 8.9 IMDb user rating.

World’s Largest 9/29, 9:30pm & 10/2, 1:30pm | AMC Block E 15
I’m even more curious to see this after exec-director Jatin Setia said this was one of his favorite films he’s seen at the festival. Sounds like a whimsical and cheerful movie that’s guaranteed to put a smile on people’s faces.

Desperate for tourism, hundreds of small towns across the U.S.A. claim the “world’s largest” something from 15-foot fiberglass strawberries to 40-foot concrete pheasants. Odd, funny and sometimes beautiful, the statues stand as testaments to the uniqueness and importance – the largeness – that all people feel, and need to feel, about their communities and their own existence.

10/2, 7:00pm | AMC Block E 15
On closing night on Saturday, I might try to catch this one after my volunteer shift is done. This movie won’t be released nationwide until November 5, so it’s cool that TCFF got it a month in advance! Now please don’t confuse this with the Cindy Crawford crapfest of the same name. This one is a political-thriller based on the autobiography of real-life undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame. According to, this is the only film from an American director in competition at Cannes, and the indie blog also has great things to say about director Doug Liman’s (Bourne Ultimatum) casting of Naomi Watts: “Watts is finely-tuned as Plame, a woman who tells lies for her country with ease but agonizes over speaking the truth for her own benefit.”

Now, I don’t always leap up to see this type of political thriller, nor am I the biggest Sean Penn fan (read: not really). But I like Naomi Watts, she is one darn good actress and the story sounds pretty intriguing. How accurate it really is to what actually happens I’ll never know, but hey, it sure makes for a compelling thriller and that is what I look for in this movie.

Check out other films offered @ TCFF, there bounds to be something that interest you. Look for my continued coverage of TCFF in the coming days!

Has anybody seen any of these films? If so, do share your thoughts in the comment section below.

16 thoughts on “First annual Twin Cities Film Fest kicks off tonight: 5 flicks I’m excited to see

  1. Mike B.

    I’ve not seen any of them, but I’m old enough to have remembered when the Secretariat story was news. That was a spectacular event without doubt.

    Dang, how are you going to find the time to watch that many movies!?!?! Color me impressed …

    1. That’d be a good one to check out with the girls, Mike.

      He…he.. well I hope I get to see all these and more. But there is only 24 hrs in a day! If only I could take a whole week off just for this 😀

  2. PrairieGirl

    Already, in just the first year, many great films will be showing. Happy to be in on the ground floor of the fest with you, and all the other movie lovers. Cheers!

  3. Ahah that’s a lot of movies in 4 days 🙂 I might try to catch Secretariat or Fair Game but nothing for sure, I don’t think I would normally go see them in theater so it might not be worth the trip.

    1. I know, a bit ambitious aren’t I? I normally don’t go for movies like Secretariat but I’d check this one just to see John Malkovich playing somewhat ‘normal’… and scared of Diane Lane! 🙂

  4. I too haven’t seen any of these, but have heard good things about NOWHERE BOY and FAIR GAME.

    Looking forward to keeping up with your coverage. Looks like you have a great roster of films for the watchin’. Enjoy the festival experience dude – ain’t nothin’ else like it!

    1. I actually hadn’t watched the trailer for Fair Game yet, what was it that turned you off Fitz? And who would your girlfriend rather see playing Lennon? I’m just curious.

      1. The Fair Game trailer quickly turns into a Bourne revenge thriller halfway through when in actuality it’s not like that at all. And the end line Watts delivers, “I don’t have a breaking point,” just made me cringe.

        1. Oh no, this movie is nothing like the Bourne films. It’s more of a drama than a thriller which I found refreshing actually. It’s not your run-of-the-mill spy flick. As for that line “I don’t have a breaking point,” it was actually quite poignant when she said that at that point of the movie.

          In any case, good thing I hadn’t seen the trailer yet or I’d have had a different feeling going into it.

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