Aspen Film offers sneak peek at festival line-up

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado
Courtesy The Weinstein CompanyAaron Johnson stars as the young John Lennon in "Nowhere Boy," the opening-night film at Aspen Filmfest 2010.

ASPEN – Aspen Film has announced the partial program for its upcoming Aspen Filmfest. The 32nd annual Filmfest is set for Sept. 29 through Oct. 3, with screenings at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen and at the Crystal Theatre in Carbondale.

The opening-night film is “Nowhere Boy,” a drama based on John Lennon’s formative years in Liverpool. Other feature films to be screened are “Blue Valentine,” “The King’s Speech” and “Welcome to the Rileys.” Among the documentaries on the program are “Make Believe,” “Marwencol” and “Thunder Soul.”

“Nowhere Boy,” the directorial debut of Sam Taylor-Wood, stars 20-year-old British actor Aaron Johnson as the young Lennon, who is being pulled in opposite directions by his high-spirited mother (Anne-Marie Duff), and his stern aunt (Kristin Scott Thomas). The screening will be followed by a performance by the surviving members of Lennon’s first band, the Quarrymen.

“Blue Valentine,” by former University of Colorado film student Derek Cianfrance, stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams as a couple trying to inject life into their marriage. The film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

The historical drama “The King’s Speech” stars Colin Firth as King George VI, trying to overcome a severe stutter and take the helm of England as it heads toward World War II. Directed by Tom Hooper, the film co-stars Helena Bonham Carter as Queen Elizabeth and Geoffrey Rush as the king’s speech therapist.

“Welcome to the Rileys,” another nominee for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, stars James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo as a couple struggling with their long-term grief. Kristen Stewart is featured as a teenage runaway who serves as the catalyst for the couple to shift into the next stage of their lives.

The documentary “Make Believe” follows six young magicians as they prepare for the Teen World Championship competition. “Marwencol,” which won an award at the South by Southwest festival, focuses on Mark Hogancamp, a man who takes his childhood hobby of toy soldiers to an extreme in an effort to recover from a traumatizing attack. “Thunder Soul” tells of a high-school band in 1970s Texas that became a worldwide funk sensation.

The full program for Aspen Filmfest ’10, including the list of filmmakers scheduled to attend, will be announced on Wednesday. Tickets will go on sale Sept. 15 at the Wheeler Opera House box office.

For further information on Aspen Film, go to