The complete schedule of the 23rd edition of the AFI Fest was announced today, and there are quite a few films included that we'll be hearing from again this awards season.
And did we mention it's free?
That's right, this year all the screening tickets will available to anyone with a heartbeat and access to a cellphone or the Internet. However, to make sure you get a seat, AFI Patron Passes are also for sale.
Wes Anderson's stop-motion adaptation of Roald Dahl's "Fantastic Mr. Fox" will be featured at the opening night gala. The indie-minded project, which counts George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray among its vocal cast, will make its North American premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theater on the Oct. 30.
Flash forward to Nov. 2 and the U.S. premiere of Terry Gilliam's long-awaited "The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus," which will serve as the fest's centerpiece screening gala. The elaborate fantasy, about the leader of a traveling theater group who takes his audience on a mind-expanding exploration of their imaginations, stars the late Heath Ledger, whose role is also played at various times throughout the film by Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell. Christopher Plummer, Tom Waits and Verne Troyer also star. It too will screen at Grauman's.
And while we're speaking of Christopher Plummer, the acclaimed veteran actor will receive a tribute at this year's fest on Nov. 3. A multiple Tony and Emmy winner and the star of films including "The Sound of Music," "12 Monkeys" and "The Insider," Plummer has two films at the fest -- he plays the title role in "Parnassus," and Leo Tolstoy in "The Last Station." The latter will screen immediately after his tribute, which will take place at Grauman's.
The fest will also pay homage to actor Viggo Mortensen with a special screening of "The Road" on Nov. 4. Mortensen is slated to attend the screening of "The Road," which will follow his tribute; co-star Charlize Theron and director John Hillcoat are also expected as guests.
And on Nov. 5, the closing night gala is given over to Tom Ford's "A Single Man," starring Colin Firth, Julianne Moore and Ginnifer Goodwin. The film, which marks the directorial debut of fashion designer Ford, is adapted from Christopher Isherwood's novel about a British college professor who attempts to cope with the loss of his partner. A critical success at both the Toronto and Venice festivals, "Single Man" makes its U.S. premiere at (you guessed it) Grauman's Chinese Theater.
FOR THE RECORD: A previous version of the post said "A Serious Man" would screen on Nov. 7. It will screen on Nov. 5 at 7 p.m.
So now that you know the bullet points, you're asking: what about the full schedule? Well, tiger, you want it, you got it -- after the break.