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Monday, April 24, 2017

Florida Film Festival opens at Enzian with Brett Haley’s ‘The Hero’

Posted By on Mon, Apr 24, 2017 at 9:53 AM

click to enlarge CAMERON MEIER
  • Cameron Meier
The 26th annual Florida Film Festival began Friday night at Maitland’s Enzian Theater and Eden Bar with a party and screening of The Hero, and will continue through April 30.

Directed by Brett Haley (who attended the screening and participated in a Q&A session) and starring Sam Elliott in perhaps his finest performance, The Hero (4 stars on 0-5 scale) won’t play again at this year’s festival, but look for it when it returns to Enzian, possibly in June. It’s the story of an aging – and possibly dying – actor looking to write just one more chapter in his life. The ensemble cast (which includes Laura Prepon, Krysten Ritter, Nick Offerman and Elliott’s real-life wife, Katharine Ross) is excellent, but it’s Elliott you could be hearing from come Oscar time.

click to enlarge "The Peacemaker"
  • "The Peacemaker"

More movies we recommend

The Peacemaker
(4 stars) might just be the weightiest documentary of the festival. It’s that rare doc that successfully blends a newsworthy subject (international peace negotiations) with an intimate portrait. In this case, that portrait is of the legendary but little-understood man behind those negotiations, Padraig O’Malley. In just its second U.S. showing, director James Demo’s film both reflects on the past achievements of the 74-year-old O’Malley while examining with extraordinary intimacy what his life has become. Don’t miss its final festival showing on Thursday, April 27, at Regal Winter Park Village, at 3:45 p.m.

Colossal (3 stars), one of the most memorable of this year’s “Spotlight” films, is a unique blend of fantasy, science fiction, comedy and dark drama. That mix of genres isn’t always blended just right in director Nacho Vigalondo’s (Timecrimes) imaginatively metaphorical film about human relationships gone bad — so bad they morph into metropolis-mangling monsters. But if you like your dramedies with a side of surreal and a dash of disaster – plus a sincere performance by Anne Hathaway and a wonderfully nuanced one by Jason Sudeikis – this film is for you. Unfortunately, Colossal had its one and only festival showing on April 22, but it will likely return to the Enzian this summer.

For more information, visit and check out the OW’s other recommendations.

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