St. Louis International Film Festival brings movies from far and wide


Courtesy of Netflix

Actors Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson star in “Marriage Story,” premiering Nov. 7 at 8 p.m. at the St. Louis International Film Festival.

Need a break from Netflix? Want to feel a little fancier than Chesterfield Mall’s good ole AMC? Why not go give St. Louis International Film Festival a try (SLIFF)? SLIFF is an annual film festival that began in 1992, showing around 300 films every November. With that many films to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. We’re here for you though; read on to find out which standout film you should see from Nov. 7 to Nov. 17.

“Marriage Story” – Nov. 7 at 8 p.m. – Tivioli Theatre 

Most of us know Adam Driver from his role as Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but his abilities go far beyond the First Order. “Marriage Story” is an honest and at times comical look at the concept of family during a difficult divorce starring Driver and Scarlett Johansson as the leads. I’ll be honest, I almost cried while watching the trailer, making this one of the movies I’m most excited for at SLIFF. If you miss the festival, you can also catch “Marriage Story” on Netflix, so there’s no excuse not to watch.

“A Faithful Man” – Nov. 8 at 2:15 p.m. and Nov. 9 at 12:00 p.m. – Plaza Frontenac Cinema

Lily Rose Depp stars in “A Faithful Man,” a complicated story profiling the evolution of a relationship and the jealousy it produces. This film is beautiful not only for its cinematography but also for its language; if you’re looking for a little culture, “A Faithful Man” is entirely in French. You might be able to convince your parents it’s equivalent to doing your French homework (or maybe not, but it’s worth a shot).

“Waves” – Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. – Tivoli Theatre 

St. Louis native Sterling K. Brown is featured in “Waves”, an A24 release detailing the lives of a black family in suburban America as they navigate loss and love. It’s well known that all indie kids love A24, with good reason. With past hits like “Call Me By Your Name” and “Lady Bird”, I can’t wait to see what “Waves” brings to the table.

“Just Mercy” – Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. – Tivoli Theatre 

Michael B. Jordan stars in “Just Mercy,” a film based on the book by the same name many of us were required to read in English class junior year. “Just Mercy” follows lawyer Bryan Stevenson, a recent Harvard grad who takes on the difficult job of defending wrongly accused inmates. This true story is powerful and sure to make you think, and is certainly one of the most relevant films on this list.

“#Like” – Nov. 10 at 8:30 p.m. – Tivoli Theatre 

#Like” is a bold, feminist thriller starring Sarah Rich as Rosie, who on the anniversary of her sister’s death discovers that the man who drove her sister to commit suicide is back on the prowl. Full of twists and haunting reality, “#Like” is bound to be a standout at SLIFF.

“Portrait of a Lady on Fire” – Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. – Tivoli Theatre

“Portrait of a Lady on Fire” is the gay, French, period romance we all needed, even if we didn’t know we needed it. Getting by far the most hype from critics, this film is praised for its artistry, which mirrors that of one of the main characters. To give a SparkNotes summary, a French countess’ daughter is going to be married to a stranger against her will and falls in love with the artist who is commissioned to paint her wedding. What follows is, I’m sure, as beautiful as love itself.

If none of these films strike you, check out the SLIFF schedule for a look at the plethora of other movies. Whether you want to take a break from the grind of school or just get out of the cold weather, going to one of these movies is a great option. These films may not come back to a St. Louis theatre after the festival, so make sure to catch them while you can!