Film News: CLOSING NIGHT film of 54th Chicago International Film Festival is ‘The Front Runner’

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CHICAGO – It all comes down to the last night, and what a closer on Sunday, October 21st, 2018 for the 54th Chicago International Film Festival (CIFF). “The Front Runner,” featuring Hugh Jackman and J.K. Simmons, and directed by Jason Reitman (“Juno”), will bring down the curtain on the Fest.

’The Front Runner’ on Closing Night at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival
Photo credit: Chicago International Film Festival/Columbia Pictures

EVENTS It’s a celebration of another exciting Chicago International Film Festival as the Closing Night presentation goes political with “The Front Runner,” the story of presidential candidate Gary Hart, when he looked like a shoe-in to win the 1988 election until a little “Monkey Business” got in the way. Director Jason Reitman will make an appearance on behalf of the film, with a Red Carpet event beforehand. For more details – including the after party – and tickets, click here.

Festival Founder and CEO Michael Kutza hosts “A Tribute to Colleen Moore,” honoring the former silent film-era movie star who was instrumental in helping to launch the festival in 1965. Film clips, her film “The Power and the Glory” (1933) and a conversation with her grandson Billy Hargrave. Michael will be retiring as CEO and day-to-day operations at the end of 2018, and takes it full circle. For details and tickets, click here.

FILM OF THE DAYTHE FRONT RUNNER” (USA) With implications in our current political climate, “The Front Runner” reaches back to the 1988 U.S. Presidential campaign, when candidate Gary Hart (Hugh Jackman) looked certain to win the Democratic nomination and presidency. But when it came to his personal life, including his wife Lee (Vera Farmiga), the secrets he covered up proved to be his undoing. J.K. Simmons steals his scenes as campaign director Bill Dixon, and an amazing supporting cast includes Sara Paxton, Ari Graynor, Alfred Molina, Kevin Pollak and Alex Karpovsky. Hugh Jackman revs the engine of the film, and director Jason Reitman structures a parallel to the situation we live in today… it’s vital narrative history.

WATCH OUT FOR THE BEST OF THE FEST, four of the film honorees from Awards Night gets re-screened before the Fest comes to an end. For details and tickets, click here. And as was said above, today is the end of the last Festival for Founder and CEO Michael Kutza, who began the Chicago International Film Festival in 1965. Good luck to a real pioneer, and godspeed.

Closing Night of the 54th Chicago International Film Festival presents “The Front Runner” on October 21st, 2018 (6pm) at the AMC River East 21, 322 East Illinois Street, Chicago. Click here for a Festival overview, and how you can join Cinema/Chicago, the organization that presents the Festival and more. senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

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© 2018 Patrick McDonald,

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