The thirtieth Starz Denver Film Festival (formerly the Denver International Film Festival) starts tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the Denver Performing Arts Complex with a red-carpet screening of the Tamara Jenkins film The Savages, starring the lovable Laura Linney and the perpetually misanthropic Philip Seymour Hoffman. The Savages is a darkly comic tale of two middle-aged siblings who unite to take care of their father, whose late-life dementia both tears the family apart and brings them closer together.
Jenkins directed the 1998 indie-darling hit The Slums of Beverly Hills, which trod similar dark-comic territory with its examination of some of the more painful and humorous elements of familial relationships. And Savages, which was a runaway hit at Sundance earlier this year, has made the festival rounds and garnered critical acclaim for the performances of both Hoffman and Linney. No big surprise there.
Among those who will be on hand to walk the red carpet this evening will be Norman Jewison, director of the 1968 original Thomas Crown Affair, as well as In the Heat of the Night and Moonstruck. Jewison will be presented with this year's Mayor's Career Achievement Award tomorrow night. After the Savages screening, attendees will head upstairs to the Opening Night After Party in the Donald R. Seawell Ballroom, where the booze will flow from 10 p.m. to midnight. Tickets for both events ($75, or $70 for Denver Film Society members) are available at www.denverfilm.org, along with a full festival schedule. Tickets for the film only are $25, or $20 for DFS members. Visit www.blogs.westword.com for the latest DFF news as it happens.
Thu., Nov. 8, 8 p.m., 2007