“Marriage Story,” Noah Baumbach’s aching comedy-drama of love and divorce, will open Independent Film Festival Boston’s Fall Focus mini-fest next month; the already-acclaimed title, starring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, has emerged from the festival circuit as a front-runner in next year’s Oscars race.
Always a reliable harbinger of awards-season success, the three-day program (Nov. 1-3, at the Brattle in Cambridge) will also screen Shia LaBeouf’s autobiographical “Honey Boy,” Anthony Hopkins-Jonathan Pryce starrer “The Two Popes,” and A24 drama “Waves,” from “Krisha” director Trey Edward Shults. On Sunday, the event will conclude with the exquisite “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” a lesbian romance from French director Céline Sciamma.
Other titles screening include family drama “The Truth,” starring Ethan Hawke, Juliette Binoche, and Catherine Deneuve, from “Shoplifters” director Hirokazu Kore-eda; Chinonye Chukwu’s Sundance prize-winner “Clemency,” in which Alfre Woodard stars as a death-row prison warden grappling with the psychological fallout of her work; “The Kingmaker,” in which “Generation Wealth” documentarian Lauren Greenfield trains her camera on Filipino politician Imelda Marcos; and Chinese crime noir “The Wild Goose Lake,” from director Diao Yinan (“Black Coal, Thin Ice”).
“Honey Boy” stars Lucas Hedges (the “Manchester by the Sea” actor who’s also in “Waves”) and Noah Jupe (“A Quiet Place”) as versions of a young LaBeouf, with the actor himself playing a character based on his own father; the experimental drama, directed by Alma Har’el, counts Wellesley-bred Christopher Leggett among its producers. Dan Lin, who produced “The Two Popes,” studied business at Harvard, an alma mater shared by “Marriage Story” producer David Heyman, while “Clemency” star Woodard graduated from Boston University. But the strongest Boston ties rest with “Kingmaker” director Greenfield, who was born in Roxbury and honed her filmmaking skills at Harvard.
Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Friday, with IFFBoston members getting access before that. A full schedule is available at iffboston.org/fall-focus-2019/.