The 15 Seattle International Film Festival Films We Can't Wait to Watch

Which film festival features 405 films from 67 different countries and welcomes a couple hundred thousand attendees? The Seattle International Film Festival! The festival, held in Film.com's backyard, is only two weeks away and the lineup is set. I'll be in attendance, so I wanted to start prepping everyone for the cinematic delights that await.

In alphabetical order:

25th Hour

Synopsis: Convicted New York drug dealer Montgomery Brogan (Edward Norton) re-evaluates his life in the 24 remaining hours before he begins a seven-year jail term.

Why We're Excited: One of the underrated films of the decade, 25th Hour is a must-see if you've ever liked Ed Norton or Spike Lee.


American: The Bill Hicks Story

Synopsis: A documentary on hugely underappreciated comedian Bill Hicks.

Why We're Excited: We caught it at this year's SXSW Film Festival, and loved it. Great documentaries deserve love too!


Cane Toads: The Conquest in 3-D

Synopsis: A cautionary tale of ecological hubris.

Why We're Excited: There are very few films that should be in 3-D. But Cane Toads is definitely one of them. I mean, just think about it: glorious toads jumping right out at you! Magic.


Centurion

Synopsis: Roman soldiers fight for their lives behind enemy lines.

Why We're Excited: Another hit from the SXSW Film Festival, Centurion features grey palette photos that look visually compelling, like the opening scenes of Gladiator.


Cyrus

Synopsis: John's relationship with Molly seems promising until he meets her 21-year-old son, Cyrus.

Why We're Excited: The trailer shows off the quirky family vibe of Little Miss Sunshine meets Step Brothers.


The Extra Man

Synopsis: A man who escorts wealthy widows in New York's Upper East Side takes a young aspiring playwright under his wing.

Why We're Excited: It's the opening film of the festival, and the first film we've seen from Katie Holmes in two years. Bonus: Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood) attempts to make the leap to leading man.


Get Low

Synopsis: A Tennessee shut-in (Robert Duvall) plans his funeral ... while hoping to attend it.

Why We're Excited: Bill Murray and Robert Duvall have legitimate Academy Award potential here. A wry, though sincere, look at grief.


The Hedgehog (Le Herisson)

Synopsis: An 11-year-old pessimist and her quest for kindred spirits.

Why We're Excited: You don't get a ton of angry 11-year-old protagonists these days; it's always interesting to see what a director will do with a younger human.


Hipsters

Synopsis: A Russian musical about young people struggling in the the '50s.

Why We're Excited: Read that synopsis again! The folks who have seen it compare it favorably to Across the Universe and Moulin Rouge.


Howl

Synopsis: The film follows the courtroom drama of the "Howl" obscenity case, Allen Ginsberg's explanation of the poem, his reading of the poem, and finally an animated journey through the imagery of the poem itself.

Why We're Excited: A film that gets at the heart of obscenity vs. free speech, Howl really shows off James Franco's acting chops.


Leaves of Grass

Synopsis: A professor returns to Oklahoma, where his twin brother has concocted a scheme to take down a local drug lord.

Why We're Excited: Edward Norton has made six good to great films over the past dozen years. For a film lover, he's one of those guys you can't afford to miss.


Strange Powers

Synopsis: A documentary that deals with Stephin Merritt (of the Magnetic Fields), exploring his relationship with manager Claudia Gonson.

Why We're Excited: The Magnetic Fields, because of Merritt, feature some of the strongest lyrical work of the past decade. It will be interesting to see where Merritt's inspiration comes from.


Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil

Synopsis: Two hillbillies are accused of being killers by a group of college kids camping near the duo's cabin.

Why We're Excited: This film has a shocking 8.8 out of 10 rating on IMDb and it played well at the Sundance Film Festival. A very buzzy title that deserves a wide release at some point.


Untouchable Girls

Synopsis: A documentary on the world's only singing and dancing lesbian twin sisters.

Why We're Excited: Every good film festival features a movie you might never get a shot to see again if you don't see it at the festival. Untouchable Girls might be that film this year.


Waiting for Superman

Synopsis: A searing look into the public education system.

Why We're Excited: Scott Weinberg of Cinematical loved it, and the Hollywood Reporter also looked favorably upon it. At some point, as a country, we'll probably take education seriously again, no? Perhaps we'll start with this documentary.