'Roma' To Open The 2018 Middleburg Film Festival, 'Green Book' Selected As Closing Night Film

Toronto what? When people wonder why I've shown zero interest in going to TIFF over the last six years, it's because Middleburg keeps matching them step for step. Today the Middleburg Film Festival announced their Opening Night, Closing Night, Centerpiece, and Spotlight films, including Alfonso Cuaron's Venice award-winner Roma, and TIFF People's Choice award winner, Green Book. The festival runs from October 18th through October 21st. 

Roma, hailed as acclaimed director Alfonso Cuaron's most personal film yet, will open the Middleburg Film Festival on October 18th. Based on the strong women who influenced Cuaron's childhood, Roma stars newcomer Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, a young domestic worker during the political and social strife of 1970s Mexico City.  The film debuted at the Venice Film Festival where it won the prestigious Golden Lion, and was named Mexico's Entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. 

Announced as the Closing Night film on October 21st is Green Book, starring Academy Award nominee Viggo Mortensen and Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali. Directed by Peter Farrelly in a sharp departure from his previous work, the film centers on Italian-American bouncer Tony Lip who is hired to drive world-class black pianist Dr. Don Shirley through a tour of the Deep South, forging an unlikely friendship while facing down the racism of the region and the era. Farrelly and Mortensen will both be in attendance. 

Jason Reitman's The Front Runner has been chosen as the Centerpiece Film on Saturday night, October 20th. Starring Hugh Jackman, the film focuses on the meteoric rise and shocking fall of 1988 Democratic Presidentical candidate and clear front runner, Gary Hart, after reports of an extramarital relationship rocked his campaign. In attendance for a Q&A following the screening will be Reitman and screenwriters Matt Bai and Jay Carson.

Selected as the Spotlight Film on Friday, October 19th is Joel Edgerton's Boy Erased, with Edgerton and author Garrard Conley in attendance.  Oscar nominee Lucas Hedges stars as Jared, the son of a Baptist pastor in a small town who is forced by his parents, played by Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman, to enter a gay conversion therapy program or ostracized by his family, friends, and faith. 

There will also be a special program honoring Golden Globe winner Maggie Gyllenhaal, Grammy-winning songwriter Diane Warren, and Lebanese director Nadine Labaki for their remarkable contributions to film. A special screening will be held of Gyllenhaal's latest, The Kidgergarten Teacher, which has earned tremendous acclaim since debuting at Sundance earlier this year. Warren will also be in attendance and performing a selection of her songs. Labaki's most recent film is Capernaum, a Jury Prize winner at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival and Lebanon's entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards.