Film and TV

Starz Denver Film Festival: Artistic director Brit Withey previews opening night's Like Crazy

Again this year, Starz Denver Film Festival artistic director Brit Withey is offering his must-see picks for each day of the fest -- including many flicks that movie lovers might otherwise miss amid the flood of silver-screen goodies.

Today, he shares his take on the fest's opening night feature: Like Crazy.

Like Crazy Directed by Drake Doremus Wednesday, November 2, 8 p.m. Ellie Caulkins Opera House

The winner of the Grand Jury Prize at this year's Sundance Film Festival, Like Crazy is "a love story, but it's also a break-up story," says Withey. "It tells what happens with this couple in between the times when they're so deeply in love with one another, and why they want to fight so hard to be together. It's a really emotional film. A lot of people have been calling it a Love Story for a new generation, and I think that holds true. It's really strong storytelling."

Much acclaim has been heaped upon leads Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones, whose characters face the challenge of maintaining a long-distance relationship when Jones's British college student is prevented from returning to America. Withey feels the actors' skill at delivering largely improvised dialogue helps keep the premise fresh.

"It doesn't feel trite in any way," he maintains. "It has this sort of post-9/11 element thrown into it because of her the visa problems she has due to heightened travel alerts. And the story is shot and told in a really intimate way. The characters aren't shown together as much as apart. It's a really interesting way to tell a love story."

Click here for more information, and visit The Latest Word throughout the festival for more of Brit's picks. Here's the Like Crazy trailer.

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More from our Television & Film archive: "Starz Denver Film Festival: James Franco, Aron Ralston make 127 Hours go by just like that."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts