Montclair Film Festival to feature Eddie Redmayne, Brendan Fraser
Movies starring Eddie Redmayne and Brendan Fraser will be featured on the opening weekend of the 2022 Montclair Film Festival and each actor will be interviewed by “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert after the screenings, festival organizers announced Friday, Sept. 23.
“We are incredibly honored to be able to welcome these artists and their films to the Montclair Film Festival,” Tom Hall, Montclair Film’s co-head and artistic director, said in a news release. “This year’s lineup is a reminder of the vitality and urgency of cinema as a path forward, a way for us to come together and celebrate the range and diversity of human experience. We can’t wait to share these powerful stories with our community.”
Redmayne, who won an Academy Award for “The Theory of Everything” in 2015, will receive the festival’s Performance of the Year Award for “The Good Nurse,” in which he plays an intensive care nurse who befriends another nurse, a New Jersey single mother who is down on her luck, portrayed by Jessica Chastain. The two develop a strong friendship until a series of mysterious patient deaths prompts an investigation.
“The Good Nurse,” a Netflix release directed by Tobias Lindholm, premiered earlier this month at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The true-crime drama will be shown at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22, at the Wellmont Theater as the Montclair Film Festival’s Fiction Centerpiece. Colbert will conduct a post-screening Q&A with Redmayne and Lindholm.
The following day “The Whale,” starring Brendan Fraser, will be shown at the Wellmont at 7:30 p.m. Colbert will interview Fraser after the screening.
The A24 release, about a 600-pound English teacher named Charlie who is struggling to reconnect with his estranged daughter, is being heralded as Fraser’s comeback after a career decline of about two decades. Fraser has said that he suffered physical injuries from “The Mummy” franchise then was dealing with trauma from sexual harassment. He has also said that he believes he was blacklisted after speaking up about the abuse.
Director Darren Aronofsky said in an interview with Deadline that he spent 10 years looking for the right actor for the lead in “The Whale,” which premiered at the Venice Film Festival and received a six-minute standing ovation. He told The Associated Press: “Casting Charlie was a huge challenge. I considered everyone. Every single movie star on the planet. But none of it really clicked.” He talked to Fraser about the role after seeing him in a trailer for an independent film from Brazil.
“The Whale” comes with some controversy. For the movie, Fraser wore a fat suit that was digitally altered to make him appear to be as much as 600 pounds. Advocates for obese people have been critical of what they say are stereotypical portrayals of fat people in films.“The most exciting part of the release of ‘The Whale’ is getting to read all the ways film critics will apply the full might of their BA in English to the task of describing how gross bodies like mine are!” Guy Branum, co-star and co-producer of “Bros,” wrote on Twitter.
On Saturday, Oct.22, at 3:30 p.m., “The Inspection,” written and directed by Elegance Bratton, will be shown at the Wellmont.
The A24 release, inspired by Bratton’s life, tells the story of a young, gay Black man who joins the Marines after being rejected by his mother. Although he encounters prejudice and the rigors of basic training, he also finds camaraderie, strength and support among his fellow marines.
Bratton will receive the festival’s Breakthrough Director and Writer Award after the screening.
On Sunday, Oct. 23, at noon, “Patrick and the Whale” will be screened at the Wellmont.
The film is the festival’s nonfiction centerpiece and is based on the life of Patrick Dykstra, who travels the world to dive with whales. Over the years, he has gathered a wealth of knowledge about whale behavior and communication.
Dykstra will participate in a Q&A after the film is shown.
Closing the festival on Sunday, Oct. 30, is “She Said,” which will be screened at 7:45 p.m. at Montclair Kimberley Academy’s Upper School.
The Universal release, directed by Maria Schrader, stars Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan portraying New York Times investigative reporters Jodi Kantor and Meghan Twohey, who won the Pulitzer Prize for their stories about sexual predators in the entertainment business.
“‘She Said’ is a film about the process and power of good journalism and the ways in which we depend on reporters to bring injustice to light at a time when the truth still has the power to change the world,” the film festival said in a news release.
The opening night presentation, at the Wellmont on Friday, Oct. 21, is “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” starring Daniel Craig. Colbert will interview Craig at a Montclair Film fundraiser on Friday, Oct. 28, at NJPAC.
Tickets for the Montclair Film Festival go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 3, for Montclair Film members and at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 7, for the public. Tickets will be available at montclairfilm.org.
For the festival’s fundraiser with Craig, tickets are on sale now at njpac.org, ticketmaster.com, montclairfilm.org, or by telephone at 1-888-GO-NJPAC (1-888-466-5722), and at the NJPAC Box Office at One Center Street in downtown Newark.
The full festival schedule will be announced on Friday, Sept. 30.