We pick out some of the highlights at this year’s Jameson Dublin international Film Festival…

The Jameson Dublin International Film Festival kicks off on February 14th at venues around the city, and as usual, it promises to be a cinematic treat for Irish cinephiles. Guests of the festival will include Marvel’s Avengers Assemble director Joss Whedon, who will attend the screening of his latest film Much Ado About Nothing, and Hollywood heavyweight Danny DeVito. The programme was launched on Wednesday at the Lighthouse Cinema in Smithfield by Killian Scott (Love/Hate) and Kelly Campbell (One Hundred Mornings), and we have compiled some of the highlights.

Stoker
Directed by Chan-Wook Park. Starring Nicole Kidman, Jacki Weaver, Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode.
After India’s father dies, her Uncle Charlie, who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her unstable mother. She comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives and becomes increasingly infatuated with him.

Broken
Directed by Rufus Norris. Starring Cillian Murphy, Tim Roth, Eloise Laurence.
Skunk (Eloise Laurence) is a young girl, living in a small cul-de-sac, whose life’s direction changes when she witnesses a violent attack on a neighbour.

Much Ado About Nothing
Directed by Joss Whedon. Starring Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Nathan Fillion, Fran Kranz
A modern retelling of Shakespeare’s classic comedy about two pairs of lovers with different takes on romance and a way with words. Directed by Joss ‘He’s so hot right now’ Whedon and starring alumni of his cult TV shows, Much Ado is sure to be a highlight of JDIFF for many.

After Lucia
Directed by Michel Franco. Starring Tessa Ia, Hernan Mendoza
After the death of one of the family, a father and daughter move to Mexico City from a small seaside town for a fresh start, but Alejandra (Tessa Ia) is bullied at her high school after a seemingly innocent mistake, leading her to take drastic action.

The Paperboy
Directed by Lee Daniels. Starring Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron, Macy Grey, John Cusack
Ward (Matthew McConaughey) returns home to his Southern US hometown to try and uncover the truth about Hillary Van Wetter (John Cusack) and his conviction for the murder of a law enforcement official. With the help of his younger brother Jack (Zac Efron), his writing partner Yardley (David Oyelowo) and the convicted man’s lover Charlotte (Nicole Kidman), Ward digs deeper into the story, but does not always like what he finds.

Easy Money 1
Directed by Daniel Espinosa. Starring Mattias Vereda, Joel Kinnaman
JW (Joel Kinnaman) is a handsome student who works as a taxi driver to make some money. The firm that he works for has some criminal ties and when he is tasked to follow Jorge (Mattias Vereda), an escaped convict; JW is pulled from the fringes of the organisation to its very heart.
Easy Money 2 is also screening at JDIFF 2013 

The Hardy Bucks Movie
Directed by Mike Cockayne. Starring Martin Maloney, Chris Tordoff, Owen Colgan, Peter Cassidy, Tom Kilgannon, Michael Salmon
The Hardy Bucks Movie sees the lads finally leave Castletown and head out on a wild road trip across Europe. Eddie Durkan, the self-proclaimed leader of the ‘Bucks is dreading spending another summer bored out of his skull. Ireland has qualified for the Euros in Poland, but with no money and apathetic mates, the task falls to Eddie to get them out of Castletown and onto the road in search of football and the craic.

Everybody has a Plan
Directed by Ana Piterbarg. Starring Viggo Mortensen
Augustin (Viggo Mortensen) and Pedro (also Viggo Mortensen) are twin brothers, but estranged. One is a doctor whose wife is intent on adopting a baby, the other a petty criminal and beekeeper in the Argentinean countryside. When their worlds collide, each brother must make a decision about his own life.

Sunset Boulevard
Directed by Billy Wilder. Starring William Holden, Gloria Swanson
The classic Hollywood tragic noir story is back on the big screen at JDIFF. The story follows a hack screenwriter, who writes a screenplay for a former silent film star who has faded into Hollywood obscurity. Screening the film is particularly apt since The Artist won all the awards and praise last year.

John Dies at the End
Directed by Don Coscarelli. Starring Paul Giamatti, Chase Williamson and Rob Mayes
A new street drug that sends its users across time and dimensions has one drawback: some people return as no longer human. Can two college dropouts save humankind from this silent, otherworldly invasion?

Far Out isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story
Directed by Brad Bernstein. Starring Tomi Ungerer, Maurice Sendak
Tomi Ungerer is probably the best children’s book author that you have never heard of. The film chronicle’s Ungerer’s life, his rise to fame and the moment that he disappeared from public view.

Surprise Film
Directed by ??? Starring ???
What would JDIFF be without a Surprise Film? The tickets are always the most sought after, and the movie could turn out to be one you love, or create feelings of deep ambivalence within you, but the Surprise Film is always a surprise. Past screenings have included Casa De Mi Padre, Buffalo Soldiers, Hamlet 2 and The Squid and The Whale.

As well as these, JDIFF will also show the first Irish screening of the Wachowski siblings’ Cloud Atlas, classic crime drama LA Confidential – with Danny DeVito in attendance – the IFTA nominated film Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God and literally hundreds of other films.
As well as screenings, JDIFF will play host to master classes and special events that are designed to help develop and grow the Irish film industry, and the Dublin Film Critics Circle will reveal their ponderings on JDIFF 2013.

The full programme is available at JDIFF.com and tickets are on sale now.

Words: Brogen Hayes