It's back! One of Maui's favorite holiday traditions returns Wednesday when Maui Film Festival brings its 13th annual "Celebration of Cinema" back to Castle Theater at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.
After a series of screenings over the Thanksgiving holiday, the series resumes in earnest over the December holidays, featuring some 50 films and 33 premieres in all.
The series was originally created by Maui Film Festival Director Barry Rivers as a way of showing expected Academy Award contenders to industry professionals spending the holidays on Maui. Since then it has grown, encompassing most of the contenders for Oscars, Golden Globes and other awards that have already begin across the U.S.
Gary Oldman stars in John le Carre’s “Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy.”
Focus Features photo via AP
Patrick Wilson and Charlize Theron in “Young Adult.”
Paramount Pictures photo via AP
Rivers boasts a perfect track record of having shown all of the best-picture Oscar winners since FirstLight's inception.
Regular admission is $12, or $10 for FastPass holders. More information is available at www.mauifilmfestival.com.
The following synopses have been provided by the Maui Film Festival. Also check the movie pages for reviews of several films on the list.
Wednesday, Dec. 14
2 p.m. - "Rango" PG, 1:47, free for kids 12 and younger
Johnny Depp leads the way in a story for the ages - a chameleon with an identity crisis. Gore Verbinski, of "Pirates of the Carribbean" fame directs.
5 p.m. - "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" R 2:07
Gary Oldman stars as spy chief George Smiley. Colin Firth, Tom Hardy and John Hurt co-star in this adaptation of John le Carr's brainy novel.
7:30 p.m. - "Young Adult" R 1:34
Charlize Theron plays a writer intent on reconnecting with her now-married high school sweetheart (Patrick Wilson). Jason Reitman directs.
NO FILMS ON WEDNESDAY, DEC. 15
Friday, Dec. 16
2 p.m. - "Hell and Back Again" NR, 1:28
Insightful and important, this powerful doc follows a wounded 25-year-old Marine sergeant returning to small-town America from Afghanistan.
4 p.m. - "Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey" NR 1:22
Meet Kevin Clash, the unlikely man - and the heart and soul - behind one of the most beloved characters in the world - the Muppet Elmo.
6 p.m. - "My Reincarnation" NR 1:22
An epic story of an exiled Tibetan Buddhist master and his Italian-born son's ambivalence about his own destiny as a reincarnated Tibetan lama.
8 p.m. - "Bob Marley: The Birth of a Legend" NR, 1:30
The "long lost tapes," raved Reggae.com, that definitively capture the rise of Bob Marley and the Wailers to international fame and stardom.
Saturday, Dec. 17
1 p.m. - "Kung Fu Panda 2" PG, 1:31, free for kids 12 and younger
Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu and Jackie Chan provide the voice talent for this joyous animated feature.
3 p.m. - "Declaration of War" NR 1:40, in French with English subtitles
France's Academy Award submission is an exuberant, dazzling and deeply moving film about a newborn child's impact on his loving parents.
5 p.m. - "Amigo" R, 2:04, in English and Filipino, Chinese and Spanish, all with English subtitles.
A powerful drama of friendship, betrayal and romance set against the Philippine-American war. Jose Torre stars. Indie icon John Sayles directs.
7:30 p.m. - "Blackthorn" R, 1:38
Sam Shepard stars as Butch Cassidy, of Sundance Kid fame, living in exile in the stunning wilds of Bolivia, and pining for one last sight of home.
Sunday, Dec. 18
1 p.m. - "Puss in Boots" PG, 1:30, free for kids 12 and younger
Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris lend their voices to this charming, swashbuckling cat tale.
3 p.m. - "A Better Life" PG-13, 1:38
The dramatic, eternal story of a father wanting a better life for his son than his own. Set in contemporary East L.A. One of 2011's genuine gems.
5 p.m. - "The Artist" PG-13, 1:40
A silver-screen icon of silent movies' heyday is falling, while that of the ingenue he loves rises, in this Cannes Film Festival award-winner.
7:30 p.m. - "The Music Never Stopped" PG-13, 1:45
A perfect holiday heartwarmer, based on Oliver Sachs' novel "The Last Hippie." Soundtrack by the Grateful Dead, Dylan, Beatles, Stones & CSNY.
NO FILMS ON MONDAY, DEC.19
Tuesday, Dec. 20
2 p.m. - "Rebirth" NR, 1:44
The uplifting story of five lives changed by 9/11. "Awesome. A work of art and the heart, it is really and truly inspiring" (Hollywood Reporter).
4 p.m. - "If a Tree Falls" NR, 1:38
"A Story of the Earth Liberation Front" is the subtitle of this informative doc on the incendiary tactics to chosen by the E.L.F. to protect the planet.
6 p.m. - "Revenge of the Electric Car" PG-13, 1:30
The director of "Who Killed the Electric Car?" explores its resurrection at GM, Nissan and Tesla. "Riveting highly entertaining" raved Vanity Fair.
8 p.m. - "The Other F Word" NR, 1:48
Older and wiser, iconic punk rockers from Blink 182, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Rise Against, dish their hilarious, eye-opening take on fatherhood.
Wednesday, Dec. 21
2 p.m. - "J. Edgar" R, 2:16
J. Edgar Hoover's secret life imagined. Clint Eastwood directs. Leonardo DiCaprio stars. Naomi Watts, Judi Dench and Armie Hammer co-star.
5 p.m. - "Coriolanus" NR, 2:02
Shakespeare's politically charged drama. Director Ralph Fiennes, Gerard Butler, Vanessa Redgrave, Brian Cox and Jessica Chastain co-star.
7:30 p.m. - "Shame" NC-17, 1:39
Michael Fassbender (Best Actor Venice Film Fest) stars in a tale of sexual addiction compared to "Last Tango in Paris." Carey Mulligan co-stars.
Thursday, Dec. 22
2 p.m. - "Beginners" PG-13, 1:49
Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer and Melanie Laurent star. A heartwarming dramedy about being true to yourself and those you love.
5 p.m. - "50/50" R, 1:40
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen and Anna Kendrick star in a touching, honest, laugh-out-loud-funny dramedy about friendship, survival and love.
7:30 p.m. - "Rampart" R,1:43
Woody Harrelson stars as a renegade LAPD officer at the center of a growing scandal. Co-starring Sigourney Weaver, Ben Foster and Robin Penn.
Friday, Dec. 23
2 p.m. - "We Need to Talk about Kevin" R, 2:00
Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton plays a mother trying to understand why her son commits an act of violence. John C. Reilly and Ezra Miller co-star.
5 p.m. - "W.E." R, 1:46
Madonna directs. Abbie Cornish stars. A 21st century New York City woman is fascinated by the romance of King Edward VIII and an American divorcee.
7:30 p.m. - "My Week with Marilyn" R, 1:36
A based-on-a-true-story of Marilyn Monroe's weeklong fling with a young production assistant. Michelle Williams and Eddie Redmayne co-star.
NO FILMS ON SATURDAY, DEC. 24, OR SUNDAY, DEC.25
Monday, Dec. 26
2 p.m. -"Machine Gun Preacher" R, 2:07
Gerard Butler stars in a powerfully inspirational tale of a former drug dealer who finds a new life as an advocate for homeless children in Sudan.
5 p.m. - "Undefeated" NR, 1:55
Love football? Hate football? Either way, whether 8 or 80 years old, this incredible underdog story of the triumph of the human spirit will lift you up!
7:30 p.m. -"Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" PG-13, 1:55
Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock and newcomer Thomas Horn star. A boy searches New York City for a final message from his father. Inspiring beyond words.
Tuesday, Dec. 27
2 p.m. -"The Ides of March" R, 1:40
George Clooney directs and co-stars in this political thriller. Ryan Gosling, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Evan Rachel Wood, and Paul Giamatti co-star.
5 p.m. - "Albert Nobbs" R, 1:53
A man with a secret. A woman with a dream. Insightful drama starring Glenn Close, Mia Wasikowska, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers and Janet McTeer.
7:30 p.m. - "Butter" R, 1:30
Jennifer Garner, Hugh Jackman, Olvia Wilde and Ty Burrell star in this hilarious satire set at a championship butter-carving competition in Iowa.
Wednesday, Dec. 28
2 p.m. -"Warrior" PG-13, 2:19
Joel Edgerton, Tom Hardy and Nick Nolte star in an intimate story of two martial arts fighting brothers. "Knocks you out!" raved The New York Times.
5 p.m. - "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" Not Yet Rated /Time TBD
The blockbuster novel, 50 million copies sold in 46 countries, comes to the big screen. Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara star. David Fincher directs.
7:30 p.m. - "The Iron Lady" PG-13/ Time TBD
The always mesmerizing Meryl Streep is Margaret Thatcher in this revelatory biopic co-starring Jim Broadbent, Anthony Head and Richard E. Grant.
Thursday, Dec. 29
2 p.m. -"Anonymous" PG-13, 2:09
What if William Shakespeare was a fraud? A political thriller starring Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave, David Thelwis and Joely Richardson.
5 p.m. - "Happy, Happy" R, 1:28, in Norwegian with English subtitles.
A quirky, insightful comedy about a young housewife drawn to the glamorous couple living next door. Norway's Academy Award submission.
7:30 p.m. - "Pariah" R, 1:26
An African-American teenager follows her heart's true passion. "Wonderful" (Rolling Stone). "Pulses with Authenticity!" (Entertainment Weekly).
Friday, Dec. 30
2 p.m. - "Moneyball" PG-13, 2:06
Brad Pitt stars. Jonah Hill and Phillip Seymour Hoffman co-star in a "baseball film" that, at its core, actually honors anyone taking on the 'system'.
5 p.m. - "The Way" NR, 1:55
Martin Sheen plays a father, who decides to complete a religious pilgrimage through the Pyrenees begun by his son, in this inspirational drama.
7:30 p.m. - "Oka!" NR, 1:46, in English and Bantu and French with English subtitles.
An ethno-musicologist returns to Africa to help Bayaka pygmies protect their forest home and sustain their joyous tribal lives. Kris Marshall stars.