The 2022 Chicago Critics Film Festival Welcomes Major Chicago Premieres | Festivals & Awards


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FRIDAY, MAY 13

7PM: “CHA CHA REAL SMOOTH”

Fresh out of college and without a clear life path going forward, 22-year-old Andrew is stuck back at home with his family in New Jersey. But if there’s one thing that belongs on his nonexistent résumé, it’s how to get a party started, which lands him the perfect job of motivational dancing at the bar and bat mitzvahs for his younger brother’s classmates. When Andrew befriends a local mom, Domino, and her daughter, Lola, he finally discovers a future he wants – even if it might not be his own. Cooper Raiff writes, directs and stars alongside Dakota Johnson, Brad Garrett, Leslie Mann and newcomers Vanessa Burghardt and Evan Assante in this tale of unconventional love that brims with emotional honesty.

Q&A with writer/director/star Cooper Raiff to follow the screening.

Also playing on Friday: “Watcher” and “Speak No Evil”

SATURDAY, MAY 14

7PM: “TO LESLIE”

Leslie is a West Texas single mother struggling to provide for her son when she wins the lottery and a chance at a good life. But a few short years later the money is gone and Leslie is on her own, living hard and fast at the bottom of a bottle as she runs from the world of heartbreak she left behind. With her charm running out and with nowhere to go, Leslie returns home. Unwelcome and unwanted by those she wronged, it’s Sweeney, a lonely motel clerk, who takes a chance when no one else will. With his support, Leslie comes face to face with the consequences of her actions, a life of regret, and a second chance to make a good life for her and her son.

Q&A with director Michael Morris to follow the screening.

Also playing on Saturday: “Shorts Program 1,” “A Love Song,” “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On,” Emily the Criminal,” and “Bram Stoker’s Dracula”

SUNDAY, MAY 15

4:30PM: “BENEDICTION”

Written and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Terence Davies, the biopic explores the turbulent life of WWI poet Siegfried Sassoon (Jack Lowden). The writer and soldier was a complex man who survived the horrors of fighting in the First World War and was decorated for his bravery but who became a vocal critic of the government’s continuation of the war when he returned from service. His poetry was inspired by his experiences on the Western Front, and he became one of the leading war poets of the era. Adored by members of the aristocracy as well as stars of London’s literary and stage world, he embarked on affairs with several men as he attempted to come to terms with his homosexuality. At the same time, broken by the horror of war, he made his life’s journey a quest for salvation, trying to find it within the conformity of marriage and religion.

You can view the original article HERE.

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