What to See at This Year’s Philadelphia Film Festival

From Oscar contenders to laugh-out-loud comedies, this year's selections offer something for everyone

Tonight is the opening of the Philadelphia Film Society’s 20th Philadelphia Film Festival. With more than 140 features and shorts, it can be a little overwhelming to decide what to see. Here are a few of my suggestions, but make sure you visit the festival’s website for up-to-date show times, complete film listings, and ticket information. Many screenings will sell out fast!

For Those Already Working on their Oscar Ballot

Like Crazy
The opening night film won the Grand Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Starring the much talked-about Felicity Jones and Anton Yelchin (Star Trek). Thursday, October 20, 8:00 p.m. at Annenberg Center; Sunday, October 23, 2:00 p.m. at Ritz East

Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds, X-Men: First Class) is already getting Best Actor buzz for his (explicit) portrayal of a sex addict. Also starring awards-darling Carey Mulligan. Friday, October 21, 7:55 p.m. at Ritz East

Ralph Fiennes, Gerard Butler, Jessica Chastain, Brian Cox, and Vanessa Redgrave star in this Fiennes-helmed adaption of the Shakespeare tragedy. Saturday, October 22, 9:45 p.m. at Prince Music Theater; Sunday, October 23, 12:10 p.m. at Ritz East

Kirsten Dunst won the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival for her portrayal as a woman in Earth’s final days. Saturday, October 22, 2:20 p.m. at Prince Music Theater; Sunday, October 23, 7:05 p.m. at Ritz East

For Those Who Just Want to Laugh

Jeff, Who Lives at Home
Jason Segel. Ed Helms. Judy Greer. ‘Nough said. Friday, October 21, 10:15 p.m. at Prince Music Theater; Sunday, October 23, 2:00 p.m. at Prince Music Theater

For Fans of Local Film

Philadelphia is a featured character in director/writer Jamal Hill’s feature film that explores the clash between the city’s sub-cultures. Friday, October 21, 5:00 p.m. at Prince Music Theater; Tuesday, November 1, 10:10 p.m. at Ritz East

For Kids

Puss in Boots
Though the Shrek series has come to an end, we can at least still enjoy the odd, hilarious world with this Antonio Banderas-voiced spin-off. Saturday, October 22, 10:30 a.m. at Rave

The Ugly Duckling
Yes it is in Russian with English subtitles, but this stop-motion animated tale is being described as “Tchaikovsky meets Chicken Run.” Saturday, October 22, 12:25 p.m. at Ritz Five; Tuesday, October 25, 7:40 p.m. at Ritz Five; Tuesday, November 1, 5:00 p.m. at Ritz East

For Those Who Are Looking for Something a Little Darker

A violent, entertaining thriller direct from Norway.  Friday, October 21, 10:00 p.m. at Rave; Sunday, October 23, 7:00 p.m. at International House

Sleeping Beauty
Emily Browning (Sucker Punch) stars as a down-on-her-luck college student who accepts a job that pays really well. The only catch? She is drugged and then delivered to wealthy clients who can do whatever they please with her. Saturday, October 22, 10:10 p.m. at Ritz Five; Wednesday, October 26, 7:30 p.m. at Ritz East


Follow Aaron Mettey on Twitter @AaroMets. For details on the week’s best events delivered to your inbox every Wednesday, sign up for our A&E and nightlife newsletter, The Weekender.