Tom Hanks just got additional Oscar buzz with the announcement that the prestigious opening night selection for the New York Film Festival is Paul Greengrass’ “Captain Phillips” on September 27, 2013. Catherine Keener co-stars. (The movie will open wide October 11.)
Last year the 3-D epic “Life of Pi” opened the festival, which later went on to much critical acclaim and a Best Directing Academy Award for director Ang Lee.
Two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks stars in the true-life historical thriller “Captain Phillips,” which examines the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates.
NYFF’s Director of Programming and Selection Committee Chair, Kent Jones said, “‘Captain Phillips’ is a riveting experience. At this point in his working life, Paul Greengrass has become a master of immersive reality-based narratives set along geopolitical fault lines – in this case, the 2009 seizure of the Maersk Alabama cargo ship by four Somali pirates. I’m excited that this tough, tense, real-life thriller, capped by the remarkable performances of Tom Hanks and four brilliant first-time Somali actors (Barkhad Abdi, Faysal Ahmed, Barkhad Abdirahman and Mahat M. Ali), is opening the 51st edition of the festival.”
The release from the Film Society describes the film as “a pulse-pounding thriller and a complex portrait of the myriad effects of globalization. The film focuses on the relationship between the Alabama’s commanding officer, Captain Richard Phillips (two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks), and his Somali counterpart, Muse (Barkhad Abdi). Set on an incontrovertible collision course off the coast of Somalia, both men will find themselves paying the human toll for economic forces outside of their control.
From a screenplay by Billy Ray, “Captain Phillips” is based on the book, “A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea,” by Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty. The film is produced by Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, and Michael De Luca. The Sony Pictures release is due in theaters October 11, 2013.
The director’s last film at the New York Film Festival was in 2002 for “Bloody Sunday.”
“It is a pleasure to welcome back Paul Greengrass to the New York Film Festival with the world premiere of his gripping drama ‘Captain Phillips,'” said Rose Kuo, the Executive Director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center. “Tom Hanks is terrific at capturing the vulnerability, terror and heroism of the harrowing journey of ‘Captain Phillips.'”
The 17-day New York Film Festival, which gets bigger every year and figures prominently in the movie awards chatter, highlights international films and well-known filmmakers, as well as the best in world cinema, featuring top films from celebrated filmmakers and new talent.
The selection committee, chaired by Jones also includes: Dennis Lim, FSLC Director of Cinematheque Programming; Gavin Smith, Editor-in-Chief, Film Comment; Amy Taubin, Contributing Editor, Film Comment and Sight and Sound; and Marian Masone, FSLC Associate Director of Programming.General Public tickets will be available Sept. 8, 2013. Subscription Packages and VIP Passes for the New York Film Festival are on sale now to Film Society Members. There also will be an opportunity for Members to purchase single screening tickets in advance of the General Public.For more information about becoming a Film Society Member visit Filmlinc.com/support/home. More ticket information for the New York Film Festival will be available mid-August on Filmlinc.com/NYFF.
“Captain Phillips” may end up competing with another Tom Hanks film for Oscar glory – the Disney film “Saving Mr. Banks,” which chronicles how “Mary Poppins” became a movie musical. Hanks plays Walt Disney and Emma Thompson plays writer P.L. Travers. Disney will release it on Dec. 20, 2013 for children of all ages.
The New York Film Festival runs through October 13.