‘The Way, Way Back’ to Close Los Angeles Film Festival

'Fruitvale Station,' 'Only God Forgives' also set

The  Los Angeles Film Festival has tapped Nat Faxon and Jim Rash’s “The Way, Way Back” as the closing night film on June 23.

The coming-of-age story stars Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, Annasophia Robb, Sam Rockwell, Maya Rudolph and Liam James. Fox Searchlight, which acquired the comedy at Sundance, is releasing “The Way, Way Back” on July 5.

The festival, now in its 19th year, also announced Wednesday gala screenings for Ryan Coogler’s “Fruitvale Station” from the Weinstein Co. and the North American premiere of Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Only God Forgives” from Radius-TWC. James Ponsoldt’s “The Spectacular Now,” David Lowery’s “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, ” Ava DuVernay’s “Venus Vs.” and Lake Bell’s “In a World …” will also screen as part of the summer showcase series.

The festival had previously announced that Pedro Almodovar’s “I’m So Excited!” will be its opening-night selection on June 13.

The festival, which moved to downtown Los Angeles in 2010, also announced free community screenings including a 20th anniversary showing of “Dazed and Confused” from director Richard Linklater and a dance-along screening of John Waters’ “Hairspray” in honor of its 25th anniversary.

Popular on Variety

Fest organizer Film Independent has based fest events mostly based around the L.A. Live complex and its Regal cinemas, with a Festival Village set up atop the parking structure.

The festival received 5,428 submissions from filmmakers, compared to 5,283 last year. The final selections represent 35 world, North American and U.S. premieres.

A dozen titles were selected for the narrative competition: “All Together Now,” Alexander Mirecki; “Forev,” Molly Green,  James Leffler; “Forty Years From Yesterday,” Robert Machoian, Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck; “Four Dogs,” Joe Burke;  “Goodbye World,” Denis Henry Hennelly; “The House That Jack Built,” Henry Barrial;  “I.D.,” Kamal K. M.;  “Mother, I Love You,” Janis Nords; “My Sister’s Quinceanera,” Aaron Douglas Johnston; “Pollywogs,” Karl Jacob; “Winter in the Blood,” Andrew Smith, Alex Smith; and “Workers,” Jose Luis Valle.

Documentary competition includes “All of Me,” Alexandra Lescaze; “American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs,” Grace Lee; “Code Black,” Ryan McGarry; “The Island of Saint Matthews,” Kevin Jerome Everson; “Llyn Foulkes: One Man Band,” Christopher Quilty, Tamar Halpern; “My Stolen Revolution,” Nahid Persson Sarvestani; “The New Black,” Yoruba Richen; “Rain,” Olivia Rochette, Gerard-Jan Claes; “Tapia,” Eddie Alcazar; and “Purgatorio,” Rodrigo Reyes.

International Showcase titles include “The Act of Killing,” Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn;  “Black Out,” Eva Weber; “Boxing Day,” Bernard Rose; “Dormant Beauty,” Marco Bellocchio; “Drug War,” Johnnie To; “Ernest & Celestine,” Stephane Aubier, Vincent Patar, Benjamin Renner; “The Expedition to the End of the World,” Daniel Dancik; “The Fifth Season,” Peter Brosens, Jessica Woodworth; “House With a Turret,” Eva Neymann; “The Moo Man,” Andy Heathcote, Heike Bachelier; “Nobody’s Daughter Haewon,” Hong Sang-soo; “The Patience Stone,” Atiq Rahimi; “Wadjda,” Haifaa Al-Mansour; “When I Saw You,” Annemarie Jacir; “The Women and the Passenger,” Valentina Mac-Pherson, Patricia Correa.

Other summer showcase titles include “Brothers Hypnotic,” Reuben Atlas;  “Casting By,” Tom Donahue; “Concussion,” Stacie Passon; “The Crash Reel,” Lucy Walker; “Crystal Fairy,” Sebastian Silva; “Europa Report,” Sebastian Cordero; “First Cousin Once Removed,” Alan Berliner; “Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction,” Sophie Huber;  “Our Nixon,” Penny Lane; “Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton,” Jeff Broadway; and “Short Term 12,” Destin Daniel Cretton.

More Film

  • Jumbo

    'Jumbo': Film Review

    Tall, dark and handsome? The crush that Noémie Merlant’s character, Jeanne, explores in “Jumbo” is one out of three: a 25-foot-tall carnival ride who seduces the amusement park janitor as she spit-cleans his bulbs. During the night shift, Jumbo literally lights up Jeanne’s life, and while he’s not handsome in the traditional sense — especially [...]

  • Ironbark

    'Ironbark': Film Review

    Movie spies typically fall into one of two categories. There are the butterflies — flamboyant secret agents like James Bond or “Atomic Blonde” who behave as conspicuously as possible. And then there are the moth-like kind, who do their best to blend in. The character Benedict Cumberbatch plays in “Ironbark” belongs to the latter variety, [...]

  • Miss Juneteenth review

    'Miss Juneteenth': Film Review

    “Miss Juneteenth” richly captures the slow pace of ebbing small-town Texas life, even if you might wish there were a bit more narrative momentum to pick up the slack in writer-director Channing Godfrey Peoples’ first feature. She’s got a very relatable heroine in Nicole Beharie’s Turquoise, an erstwhile local beauty queen whose crown proved the [...]

  • Never Rarely Sometimes Always

    'Never Rarely Sometimes Always': Film Review

    The basic plot of “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” is easy enough to describe. A 17-year-old girl named Autumn (Sidney Flanigan) winds up pregnant in a small Pennsylvania town. Prevented from seeking an abortion by the state’s parental consent laws, she takes off for New York City with her cousin Skylar (Talia Ryder), where what they’d [...]

  • Kathy Valentine, Belinda Carlisle, Jane Wiedlin,

    The Go-Go's on Sundance Doc: Neither 'America's Sweethearts' Nor 'Drug-Crazed Demons'

    Some people might come to a Go-Go’s documentary wanting a purely fun, bubbly experience, based on the effervescence the group projected at its breakthrough peak in the early ’80s. Others might want a sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll tell-all, if they’re aware of the tensions and bad habits that led the all-female band to [...]

  • 'The Dissident' Review: Powerful Look at

    'The Dissident': Film Review

    It’s become common, if not cliché, for a critic reviewing a documentary about a turbulent real-world event to write something like, “It exerts the power of a true-life thriller!” Well, make no mistake: “The Dissident” does. Directed by Bryan Fogel, who in 2017 made the Oscar-winning “Icarus” (about the Russian doping of Olympic athletes), the [...]

  • Cathy Yan, Chris Messina, Mary Elizabeth

    Margot Robbie, 'Birds of Prey' Co-Stars Justify the Movie’s R-Rating, Violence and Cussing

    Following the success of “Joker” last year, DC Films is continuing its gritty streak with “Birds of Prey,” a slam-bang adventure about Harley Quinn. Though DC Film’s 2016 tentpole “Suicide Squad” took a critical bashing at the time, filmgoers quickly took a liking to Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Harley Quinn. “Birds of Prey” gives the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content