Clint Eastwood hasn't hit it big on the Oscar circuit in some time. Films like "Changeling," "Invictus" and "Hereafter" scored the casual nomination here or there, but his last Best Picture nominee came nearly a decade ago with "Letters from Iwo Jima." Will "Jersey Boys" change all of that? We'll know if the adaptation of the Tony Award-winning musical has that kind of muscle sooner rather than later, as the film has been announced as the closing night premiere of this year's Los Angeles Film Festival.
"It’s exciting to see Eastwood still tackling new forms," LAFF Artistic Director David Ansen said. "His deft, rousing translation of ‘Jersey Boys’ from stage to screen is further confirmation of his amazing, ageless talent."
Also announced Tuesday are special gala presentations of Ira Sachs' "Love is Strange" and Justin Simien's "Dear White People," both hits when they bowed at the Sundance Film Festival in January. Hossein Amini's "The Two Faces of January" will also screen at the 20th anniversary event, the film's first stop after a San Francisco film fest US premiere last month.
Previously announced, Bong Joon-ho's "Snowpiercer" will open the fest while Lisa Cholodenko has been tapped as Guest Director. Sony Pictures Classics co-chiefs Michael Barker and Tom Bernard will also receive the festival's Spirit of Independence Award.
"This is truly a festival for new discoveries — 35 Premieres (23 of them World Premieres) and festival gems culled from all over the world," Ansen said. "We have more matinees this year, so you can make a whole day of it. I think we’ve put together a feast — a grand mix of comedies, dramas, documentaries, thrillers, shorts, retros and art house fare — that will appeal to movie lovers of every stripe."
The 20th annual Los Angeles Film Festival runs June 11-19.