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Greta Gerwig’s ‘Lady Bird’ to Open Austin Film Festival

The Austin Film Festival has selected A24’s “Lady Bird,” starring Saoirse Ronan, as its opening night film on Oct. 26.

Lady Bird,” directed by Greta Gerwig in her feature debut, premiered on Sept. 3 at the Telluride Film Festival, then showed on opening night at the Toronto Film Festival. Gerwig has been confirmed to attend the Austin screening.

The film focuses on the edgy relationship between Ronan’s brash high schooler and her mother, played by Laurie Metcalf. The comedy-drama, set in 2002 in Sacramento, Calif., also stars Tracy Letts in the father role and Lucas Hedges and Timothee Chalamet as the romantic interests. A24 opens “Lady Bird” on Nov. 10.

Peter Debruge of Variety gave the film a strong review: “The real surprise is just how honest and personal this film proves to be — again, par for the course with Gerwig, and yet, fairly rare among first-time directors, who haven’t had nearly so much practice simply being real.”

 The festival also announced Wednesday that it has chosen the Weinstein Company’s “The Current War” as its centerpiece film. Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon will present the film, which chronicles the race for marketable electricity in the United States between Thomas Edison (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) and George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon).
The film, which premiered Sept. 9 in Toronto, also stars Tom Holland, Nicholas Hoult, and Katherine Waterston.
The Austin festival’s lineup also includes “An Ordinary Man,” starring Ben Kingsley; “24 Hours to Live,” starring Ethan Hawke; “Please Stand By,” starring Dakota Fanning and Toni Collette; and the premiere of the season finale of HBO’s new dramatic series “The Deuce” with creators David Simon and George Pelecanos in attendance.

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