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Chicago International Film Festival Picks

So many movies, so little time; here are our favorites of the bunch.
Monday Oct 05, 2009.     By Matt Wood
Centerstage Chicago Nightlife City Guide Arts

Looking For Eric'Looking For Eric' (Courtesy of Chicago International Film Festival)
There are so many movies from so many places at the Chicago International Film Festival (specifically, 103 films from 45 countries) that finding what you want, as well as when and where to watch it, can be a daunting task. To ease some of that burden, this year's 45th annual festival (running October 8-22) has consolidated all shows to the AMC River East 21. To make it even easier for you, we've gone through and picked the 10 shows you shouldn't miss.

USA; Opening Night show, October 8, 7 p.m.
OK, so it isn't the most "international" of films, but Uma Thurman's portrayal of a New York City mother trying to balance a family and a writing career is sure to be up for the year's big awards. Get yourself a seat at the tribute/awards presentation before the show, where Thurman will be a career achievement award recipient. And be sure to check out the post-show reception at The Wit Hotel.

France; October 9, 6 p.m.; October 19, 8 p.m.
In veteran director Claude Chabrol's thriller, famed Paris chief of police (Gerard Depardieu) gets involved in a "sort of" murder that isn't as simple as it sounds.

Looking for Eric
UK; October 10, 8:30 p.m.; October 11, 3:15 p.m.
A depressed postman delves a little too far into his obsession for the Manchester United soccer team ... until one night when legendary footballer Eric Cantona appears in his bedroom and tells him to get off his arse and do something with his life (or something like that).

Girls on the Wall
USA; October 11, 1:30 p.m.; October 16, 3:30 p.m.
In a doc that hits close to home, the girls at a juvenile prison in Warrenville tell their troubling life stories through music.

Denmark/Germany; October 12, 7 p.m.
Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg are a couple trying to overcome the death of their son by taking a trip to a backwoods cabin, where things go very, very badly. Dafoe is scheduled to introduce the screening.

Green Waters
Argentina; October 13, 6:15 p.m.; October 14, 8:30 p.m.; October 16, 4:15 p.m.
An overprotective father's worst fears are realized when his daughter falls for a bad-boy on the way to a beachfront vacation in this darkly comedic thriller.

Berlin '36
Germany; October 15, 6:30 p.m.; October 16, 8:15 p.m.; October 18, 11:30 a.m.
The story of Jewish high jumper Gretel Bergmann training alongside Nazi athletes who can't stand her as a lead-up to the controversial 1936 Olympic games is not only an uplifting story, it provides some solace to Chicagoans: Hosting the Olympics is a huge pain anyway.

Those Who Remain
Mexico; October 16, 8:45 p.m.; October 18, noon
If you're going to see one documentary during the fest, this one might be the choice. It's the story of Mexicans left behind after their relatives leave for the allegedly greener pastures of the U.S. Exquisite views of the Mexican countryside make this a visual winner.

Astro Boy
U.S./Hong Kong; October 18, 4 p.m.
The CGI animation tale of the title character, who learns acceptance and how to be a hero in futuristic Metro City. Listen for the voices of Eugene Levy, Nicolas Cage and Charlize Theron, among others.

Dear Doctor
Japan; October 19, 7:45 p.m.; October 20, 5:30 p.m.
A psychological drama about a beloved small-town doctor who one day disappears, leaving a trail of lies for the tight-knit town to discover.


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