Another Dietrich Film Festival has come and gone with movie enthusiasts gathering Friday to share their preferences among the 21 movies that graced the Dietrich screens for the previous three weeks.
Ronnie Harvey, Dietrich movie booker, made it known that he had watched all 21 films and his favorite by far was ‘Luce.’ Two others also saw all 21 films, and the discussion by the dozen or so gathered liked Luce’s unpredictability.
‘Luce’ is the story of a couple who adopts a son from war-torn Eritrea. He has become an all-star student beloved by his community.
But when he is assigned to write an essay in the voice of a historical 20th Century figure, he turns in a paper that makes an alarming statement about political violence. Worried about how this assignment reflects upon her star pupil, teacher Harriet Wilson (played by Octavia Spencer) searches his locker and finds something that confirms her worst fears.
Sandy Austin thought Luce was “profound” with all of the tensions laid out there. Harvey thought “the acting was up there amazing. What made it so,” he said, “was that you didn’t know who to root for in the end.”
Also high on people’s lists was ‘The Farewell,’ one of the films in the opening night gala. It was funny and touching, and when the family discovers their beloved grandmother has only a short while left to live, they decide to keep her in the dark and schedule an impromptu wedding to gather the family together before she passes.
Erica Rogler said there were “family dynamics that most people have to work through in their own lives, and it made you think.”
A few liked ‘Where’d You Go, Bernadette’ including Sweppenheiser and Gary Van Vranken, who liked Kate Blanchett’s acting.
Austin said she decided to read the book before seeing the movie and that helped focus her perspective.
She liked Bernadette’s leap of faith that took her on an epic adventure that jump-started her life and led to a triumphant rediscovery.
Austin said seeing the movie also put her in touch with an area author and she explained how that in itself was fascinating to her.
Robyn Harvey said she especially liked ‘David Crosby: Remember My Name’ which was a look into the founding member of The Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash.
In the movie, Crosby shares his often challenging journey through stardom, addiction and redemption, and Harvey admitted that the movie’s appeal was predominantly because she just liked his music and the lyrics that came out of that generation.
‘Mike Wallace Is Here’ was about the 60 Minutes’ fearsome newsman who often butted heads with the world’s most influential figures, while also battling a troubled personal life.
In ‘Honeyland,’ people liked the story but found themselves questioning about its documentary qualities, and some Googled how it was filmed over a 3-year period.
A thumbs down went to ‘Midsommar,’ about a couple whose marriage is on the brink. So, they go on a trip to a once-in-a-lifetime midsummer festival in a remote Swedish village with the outcome a bit unnerving and viscerally disturbing.
Ronnie Harvey found the use of light and bright colors was interesting especially with the dark storyline.
If you’re ready to do it all over again, you’ll have to wait until after the first of the year for the Winter Film Festival.