Well, ladies and gentleman, the time has almost come for the 14th annual Scottsdale International Film Festival to begin screening extraordinary movies from across the globe. With 40 films in this year's lineup, it's no easy task to decide which films you'll see and which you'll have to skip between Thursday, October 9, and Monday, October 13. We've narrowed the list down to 10 of the top films screening at the event, just in case you're having some difficulty deciding. And, yes, you can catch Benedict Cumberbatch's new movie at the festival.
The Imitation Game Screens: Saturday, October 11, at 6:10 p.m.
This biopic tells the story of Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch), the brilliant mathematician who broke the German Enigma code in World War II. It also tells the story of how Turning was forced to take oestrogen injections (which chemically castrated him) in lieu of being imprisoned for being gay -- even after everyone knew he was a genius who helped win the war. You don't need a code cracker here to know that you should probably start feeling bummed right now, but you should still see it.
Class Enemy Screens: Saturday, October 11, at 9:40 a.m. and Sunday, October 12, at 3:35 p.m.
High school was a bummer, sure, but it's nothing like what the kids in Robert Zupan's German class have to deal with in this Slovenian movie. After a classmate commits suicide, Zupan's extremely strict and cold teaching style becomes the symbol of everything wrong in the students' lives. What's left to do but take over a radio station and revolt, right?
Match Screens: Sunday, October 12, at 8:20 p.m.
No, your eyes do not deceive you. That is Patrick Stewart in the picture and he's playing a shut-in ballet instructor and former dancer named Tobi in Match. Based on a Tony-nominated play, this film is sure to wow, though everything might not be as it seems as you learn more about Tobi's past.
Listen Up Philip Screens: Saturday, October 11, at 8:20 p.m.
If you like highly romanticized depictions of New York intellectual types being cool and unfeeling toward one another, this is definitely the film for you. You know, the kind that are always allegedly writing some novel and constantly nitpicking everything around them? Seriously though, with Jason Schwartzman and Elisabeth Moss as the leads, you can be sure that this movie will at least be entertaining.
The Outrageous Sophie Tucker Screens: Friday, October 10, at 2:15 p.m. and Monday, October 13, at 11:45 a.m.
You might not recognize Sophie Tucker's name, but she certainly was a bright star. With an iconic brassy voice, the Vaudevillian singer was a crowd favorite before Hollywood's Golden Age. This documentary looks at her life and impact on music through interviews with Tony Bennett, Barbara Walters, and Mickey Rooney.
Road North Screens: Saturday, October 11, at 9:15 a.m. and Sunday, October 12, at 5:55 p.m.
Finnish folk aren't wildly known for their comedic chops, but you can get a glimpse of Finland's funny side in Road North. The darkly humorous look at a a son and his estranged father rekindling their relationship is certainly quirky as the two embark on a road trip.
Wild Screens: Monday, October 13, at 8:25 p.m.
The festival is going to close on a high note with this Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyers Club) movie. Reese Witherspoon is the lead in this true tale one woman's quest for self-discovery while hiking solo for thousands of miles on the Pacific Crest Trail. If this sounds a little too feel-good for your tastes, just know that the woman's dark past haunts her along the way.
Rudderless Screens: Thursday, October 9, at 7:30 p.m.
While Wild will be closing the festival on a more serious, introspective note, William H. Macy's Rudderless will kick it off on a more upbeat note with a music-filled film about a father (Billy Crudup) learning to cope after the loss of his son. That might not sound so upbeat, but playing his son's songs pulls him out of depression and back into the real world.
Still Life Screens: Monday, October 13, at 6:35 p.m.
Saying that Uberto Pasolini's newest film might be kind of a downer is probably an understatement. However, once you get past the fact that it follows one man's selfless actions to the question of if anyone will be there when you die, it's actually a movie about one man learning to live for the first time. Death be damned.
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Laggies Screens: Monday, October 13, at 6:25 p.m.
Somehow Keira Knightley is on this list twice. Trust us, we don't know how that happened either. Truthfully, part of the reason we want to see it is to find out how she does with an American accent, but it's also reassuring to see her backed up by Chloe Grace Moretz and Sam Rockwell as she portrays a directionless 20-something struggling with what she should do in the future.
The Scottsdale International Film Festival kicks off on Thursday, October 9, and will show films through Monday, October 13. All screenings for the 2014 Scottsdale International Film Festival will take place at Harkins Shea 14, aside from the opening night reception and screening at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. For more information on this year's line-up and tickets, visit the Scottsdale International Film Festival website.