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Palm Springs Film Festival to Open With ‘Wicked Little Letters,’ Starring Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley

Palm Springs International Film Festival programmers have set this year’s lineup.

The desert festival, which runs Jan. 4 to 15, will open with the U.S. premiere of Thea Sharrock’s Wicked Little Letters on Jan. 5. Based on a 1920s English scandal, the film follows neighbors Edith Swan and Rose Gooding in the seaside town of Littlehampton. One day, a series of obscene letters begin to target Edith and others as suspicions fall on Rose. As the situation escalates, Rose risks losing her freedom and custody of her daughter. Olivia Colman, Jessie Buckley, Anjana Vasan, Malachi Kirby, Eileen Atkins and Timothy Spall star in the film.

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Though the opening screening happens on Jan. 5, the festival really kicks off the night before with the Film Awards, a starry ceremony that will shine a spotlight on Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, Poor Things star Emma Stone, Oppenheimer star Cillian Murphy, The Holdovers’ Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Barbie filmmaker Greta Gerwig, American Fiction star Jeffrey Wright, Maestro star Carey Mulligan and Rustin star Colman Domingo.

Noah Pritzker’s Ex-Husbands has been booked as the fest’s closing screening on Jan. 13. Pritzker is expected to attend along with his stars Griffin Dunne and Miles Heizer. The comedy centers on a man who is overwhelmed by divorce and his father’s imminent death so he jets off to Tulum, where his two sons happen to be for a bachelor party. James Norton, Rosanna Arquette, John Ventimiglia, Natalie Gold and Lou Taylor Pucci round out the cast.

As always, a selection of movies submitted for the best international feature film category at the Oscars will screen during the festival. Programmers have zeroed in on 40 titles, and a jury of international film critics will review these films to present the FIPRESCI Award for best international feature film of the year in addition to trophies for best actor, actress and screenplay. On Jan. 8, The Hollywood Reporter will host a panel discussion with some of the directors who are featured in the category.

The Talking Pictures program will feature discussions with talent from some of the year’s buzziest movies and people, including Wright, Gerwig and Killers of the Flower Moon screenwriter Eric Roth. A special section titled Spotlight will shine on veteran writer, director and producer James Ivory with his films The Bostonians, Howards End, Maurice, Quartet and Shakespeare-Wallah. A category called Flashback has set Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas, Jennie Livingston’s Paris is Burning and David Lynch’s Wild at Heart as a way to commemorate films released in the same year that PSIFF was created in 1990.

Offered artistic director Lili Rodriguez: “The Palm Springs International Film Festival programming team committed the past year to searching and scavenging the world for the films which compose this Festival’s lineup. The varied screenings at the 2024 edition will unite family entertainment, critical commentary, dramatic excellence and, most importantly, the community for cinematic conversation which meets every year in beautiful, sophisticated Palm Springs.”

In all, PSIFF will screen 179 films from 74 countries including 47 premieres. The full lineup of films can be found here. Passes are currently on sale. Tickets for Film Society members are available on Dec. 6, with general tickets up for sale on Dec. 11.

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