Aspen Film has announced the complete program for its 2008-09 Academy Screenings series. The 18th annual Academy Screenings, featuring films considered contenders for Oscar nominations, will be shown Dec. 21-Jan. 3 at Paepcke Auditorium.Among the films are Doubt, starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman as a priest and Meryl Streep as a nun at the center of a scandal; Milk, with Sean Penn as the gay San Francisco politician Harvey Milk; The Wrestler, starring Mickey Rourke as a retired professional wrestler making a comeback; and Frost/Nixon, with Frank Langella reprising his Tony Award-winning stage role as Richard Nixon, preparing for a television interview with British journalist David Frost. Two films directed by Clint Eastwood are in the series: Changeling, starring Angelina Jolie as the mother of a lost child; and Gran Turino, with Eastwood as a troubled Korean War veteran. Also: Che, Steven Soderberghs two-part biography of revolutionary Che Guevara; the French drama The Class, which earned the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival; The Reader, starring Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes as former lovers in post-World War II Germany; and Revolutionary Road, featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as a struggling young couple in 1950s Connecticut.Other foreign entries in the series are the French film Ive Loved You So Long, starring Kristin Scott Thomas; Gomorra, about Italys modern-day crime families; the Swedish drama Everlasting Moments; and Waltz with Bashir, an animated, psychological Israeli film.Rounding out the program are The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, adapted from an F. Scott Fitzgerald story; Defiance, about a village of people taking refuge from the Nazis; Happy-Go-Lucky, a comedy by British director Mike Leigh; The Secret Life of Bees, featuring an ensemble cast of Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Hudson, Queen Latifah and Sophie Okonedo; The Duchess, an 18th-century period drama starring Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes; Last Chance Harvey, a romance starring Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson; and Wendy & Lucy, starring Michelle Williams as a down-on-her-luck dog owner.Tickets go on sale Wednesday, Dec. 10 at Aspen Show Tickets at the Wheeler Opera House. For further information, including screening dates and times, go to aspenfilm.org.
The Aspen Art Museum will hold its annual winter benefit event, Freestyle 08, on Dec. 28, from 4:30-7:30 p.m., at the St. Regis Aspen.The aprs-ski event features Moet & Chandon Champagne, cocktails, caviar and hors doeuvres. A live auction will be conducted by Simon de Pury, chairman of Phillips de Pury & Company; there will also be a silent auction. Freestyle 08 is capped by a fashion show featuring new fur designs by Dennis Basso.Proceeds from the event benefit the Aspen Art Museum. Last years Freestyle raised $760,000.For reservations or further information, call 925-8050, or go to aspenartmuseum.org.
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A recent survey of Aspen residents shows that people are happy here, feel safe but are financially insecure.