LIFF 2023 Opening film: Dream Scenario
The 18th edition of the Leiden International Film Festival will begin in the Stadsgehoorzaal in Leiden on October 26 with the Dutch premiere of Dream Scenario from Norwegian director Kristoffer Borgli (Sick of Myself, LIFF 2022). This film, in which Nicolas Cage plays a professor who becomes a celebrity overnight after inexplicably appearing in the dreams of every person on earth, had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month.
1. I Used To Be Funny
Sam, aspiring stand-up comedian and au pair struggling with PTSD, debates whether or not to join the search for a missing teen she used to nanny. This debut film from director Ally Pankiw is funny, heartbreaking, and provides a refreshing perspective on trauma and recovery.
Twenty-something Donya lives in Fremont, California. While her past as a translator in Afghanistan leads to sleepless nights, Donya spends her days working in a fortune cookie factory. A promotion leads to new opportunities, and Donya decides to send a special message into the world.
Just before an important pitch with her boyfriend André (Herbert Nordrum, The Worst Person in the World), Vera visits a hypnotherapist to finally deal with her smoking addiction. Unfortunately, the hypnosis doesn’t help her on that front, only leaving her with some bizarre side effects.
Jules, a London-based drag queen better known as Aphrodite Banks, stops performing after a disturbing homophobic assault. A while later he runs into one of his assailants in a gay sauna: the ideal set-up for a revenge plot. Or is it?
5. Polite Society
When student Rita learns her sister is overhauling her life and moving abroad to marry a wealthy man, there’s only one solution: she hits pause on her own career as a stuntwoman and kidnaps her sister at her own wedding, of course. A must-see for every RRR fan!
During one of his heists for precious art, art thief Nemo (an amazing Willem Dafoe) gets trapped in a high-tech secured penthouse. Follow this solitary exhibition as Nemo pushes to the extremes for months, attempting to survive and escape.
A noteworthy premiere: Japanese composer Eiko Ishibashi (from the Oscar-nominated score of Drive My Car) is coming to LIFF to perform her new score for Gift (Ryûsuke Hamaguchi), which is a special film anyway, as it is an alternative cut of Hamaguchi’s Evil Does Not Exist.
8. Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret
Life is not easy when you’re 11 years old and your family suddenly moves from New York City to the suburbs of New Jersey! A lovely coming-of-age film, based on Judy Blume’s literary classic of the same name.
9. You Hurt My Feelings
Julia Louis-Dreyfus shines in this new film by Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said) as an author who discovers that her husband (Tobias Menzies) is far less positive about her new book behind her back than she thought. Ouch!