Skip to Navigation Skip to Content

Mill Valley Film Festival Opens Thursday with Latest from Colin Firth, Hilary Swank

Oscar nominee Colin Firth stars as King George VI in Tom Hooper's The King's Speech, playing Thursday night at the Christopher B. Smith Film Center in San Rafael.

The 33rd Mill Valley Film Festival kicks off Thursday with two opening-night films: The King’s Speech, winner of the Audience Award at last month’s Toronto Film Festival, starring A Single Man Oscar nominee Colin Firth as King George VI, who conquers his humiliating stutter with the help of Geoffrey Rush’s unconventional speech therapist; and Conviction, Tony Goldwyn’s chronicle of a high-school dropout (Hilary Swank) who earns a law degree to free her brother (Sam Rockwell) from prison.

Other festival highlights include Biutiful, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s study of a terminal cancer victim (Javier Bardem) subjected to soul-crushing slogs through Barcelona’s underworld; Stone, the latest pairing (after 2001’s The Score) of Edward Norton and Robert De Niro; and Miral, Julian Schnabel’s portrait of four women (including the titular heroine, played by Slumdog Millionaire’s Freida Pinto) struggling against the backdrop of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

An opening-night gala, featuring cocktails, appetizers, boutique wines and live music, will be held following Thursday’s screenings at the Mill Valley Community Center. Special guests expected to attend include Rockwell, Norton, Iñárritu and Annette Bening. The festivities last from 9 p.m. to midnight. For tickets, showtimes, theater locations and more information about the 10-day celebration of cinema, visit the MVFF’s official site.