The Cheat Sheet: AFI Film Festival 2011

The Cheat Sheet: AFI Film Festival 2011
Roll over photos for a quick look at some buzz-inspiring films screening Nov. 3 to 10 in L.A. Complete coverage on 24 Frames.

By Nardine Saad
Gala Screenings
  • 'J. Edgar'
  • 'Carnage'
  • 'The Artist'
  • 'Shame'
From the Festivals
  • 'Melancholia'
  • 'Butter'
  • 'Rampart'
  • 'The Lady'
Foreign Films
  • 'The Kid With a Bike'
  • 'Faust'
  • 'Alps'
  • 'Miss Bala'
Oscar Hopefuls
  • 'We Need to Talk About Kevin'
  • 'My Week With Marilyn'
  • 'Pina'
  • 'A Separation'
'J. Edgar'
Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar Hoover biopic stars Leonardo DiCaprio as the respected but feared FBI director. Beyond its A-list director and star, the film's cast includes Armie Hammer, Judi Dench and Naomi Watts. The movie's script was written by Dustin Lance Black, whose screenplay for "Milk" earned him an Academy Award in 2009.
7 p.m. Nov. 3, Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Photo credit: Keith Bernstein
A schoolyard brawl brings two sets of parents (Jodie Foster, left, John C. Reilly, Christoph Waltz and Kate Winslet) together for a cordial meeting in this dark comedy based on "God of Carnage" by French playwright Yasmina Reza.
7 p.m. Nov. 5, Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Photo credit: Guy Ferrandis / Sony Pictures Classics
'The Artist'
Set in 1920s Hollywood, a swashbuckling fading star played by Jean Dujardin resists the advance of talkies while flirting with a pretty girl (Berenice Bejo) who becomes a superstar of the new medium. It's directed by celebrated French helmer Michel Hazanavicius, whose "OSS" spy movie parodies featured Dujardin.
7:30 p.m. Nov. 8, Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Photo credit: Weinstein Company
Michael Fassbender stars as Brandon, a thirtysomething New Yorker whose life of sexual escapades is interrupted when his younger sister, played by Carey Mulligan, moves in with him.
7:30 p.m. Nov. 9, Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Photo credit: Abbot Genser / Fox Searchlight
In Lars von Trier's apocalyptic meditation "Melancholia," Kirsten Dunst plays Justine, a young bride grappling with an overwhelming depression that seems linked to the appearance of a mysterious planet -- one that just might be on a cosmic collision path with Earth. Also starring Alexander Skarsgard, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Cameron Spurr.
8:30 p.m. Nov. 6, Rigler at Egyptian Theatre
3:15 p.m. Nov. 8 Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Photo credit: Christian Geisnaes / Magnolia Pictures
Jennifer Garner, who also produced "Butter," plays competitive Iowa housewife Laura Pickler, who with husband Bob (Ty Burrell) eats, sleeps and drinks butter carving -- transforming massive blocks of the stuff into three-dimensional tableaux and seeing her family's legendary butter-sculpting skills as the ticket to a political career. Olivia Wilde and Ashley Greene also star.
6:30 p.m. Nov. 6, Chinese Theatre 1

Photo credit: Weinstein Company
Director Oren Moverman reunites Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster, the stars of his Oscar-nominated film "The Messenger," in this tough police drama about a cop (Harrelson, above) who tries to balance his home and work lives as he becomes embroiled in the infamous Rampart LAPD scandal. Moverman directs from a screenplay by noted hard-boiled novelist James Ellroy.
10 p.m. Nov. 5, Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Photo credit: Millennium Entertainment
'The Lady'
French director Luc Besson's film about Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi focuses on the years between 1988, when Suu Kyi returned from England to her homeland and took up the campaign for democracy, and 1999, when her British husband, Michael Aris (played in the film by David Thewlis), died of cancer. It chronicles the personal sacrifices Suu Kyi (Michelle Yeoh) made to remain in Myanmar.
7 p.m. Nov. 4, Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Photo credit: V. Perez
'The Kid With a Bike'
(Le Gamin Au Vélo)
Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne tell the story of a feisty 11-year-old boy, played by Thomas Doret, who is taken in by a hairdresser named Samantha (C├ęcile De France) while dealing with his parents' abandonment.
8 p.m. Nov. 8, Rigler at the Egyptian Theatre
11 a.m. Nov. 10, Chinese Theatre 1

Photo credit: Christine Plenus / Sundance Selects
The film tells the story of a successful scholar who becomes impatient with the religious limitations imposed on scientific knowledge and is just about ready to sell his soul to the devil for some real enlightenment for a change. The film is part of Russian director Aleksandr Sokurov's "Men of Power" tetralogy.
9:30 p.m. Nov. 4, Chinese Theatre 1
12:15 p.m. Nov. 6, Chinese Theatre 6

Photo credit: Proline Films
Director Yorgos Lanthimos' film is enigmatic and seemingly allegorical, with a small group of people, part club and part business, substituting for recently deceased loved ones in an attempt to ease the grieving process for family members.
7 p.m. Nov. 9, Spielberg at the Egyptian Theatre

Photo credit: Haos Films
'Miss Bala'
Gerardo Naranjo's film follows the story of an aspiring beauty queen in Tijuana who gets caught up with a drug lord after a violent shootout at a nightclub. Stephanie Sigman plays Laura Guerrero, the somewhat naive but ambitious beauty pageant contestant.
8:30 p.m. Nov. 4, Rigler at the Egyptian Theatre

Photo credit: Juan Carlos Polanco / Fox International Productions
'We Need to Talk About Kevin'
Adapted from Lionel Shriver's novel, Lynne Ramsay's film examines a mother (Tilda Swinton) who has lost the middle-class family life she once knew, which the audience learns about via flashbacks featuring her, acquiescent husband (John C. Reilly) and her troubled son (Ezra Miller), who takes part in a high school massacre.
8 p.m. Nov. 9, Chinese Theatre 1
4 p.m. Nov. 10, Chinese Theatre 6

Photo credit: Nicole Rivelli / Oscilloscope Laboratories
'My Week With Marilyn'
Based on two memoirs by Colin Clark, who was an assistant director on the Marilyn Monroe-Laurence Olivier 1956 collaboration "The Prince and the Showgirl," the film centers on the emotional and physical troubles Monroe was grappling with during the production, when she allegedly had an extramarital dalliance with Clark.
6 p.m. Nov. 6, Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Photo credit: Laurence Cendrowicz / Weinstein Company
The 3-D documentary explores the legacy of the late modern-dance pioneer Pina Bausch. Bausch, who died in 2009, was the artistic head of Tanztheater Wuppertal, a German group that fuses modern dance with theatrical flourishes into a kind of hybrid art form.
7:45 p.m. Nov. 5, Chinese Theatre 1
4 p.m. Nov. 7, Chinese Theatre 1

Photo credit: Donata Wenders / Sundance Selects
'A Separation
Asghar Farhadi's drama is a complex portrait of an Iranian family torn apart by a divorce and an escalating feud. It stars Peyman Moadi, a middle-class man accused of causing a miscarriage by a home healthcare worker with whom he had a dispute.
6:15 p.m. Nov. 6, Chinese Theater Theatre 6

Photo credit: Habib Madjidi / Sony Pictures Classics
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