The Savannah Film Festival is one of the finest and classiest second-tier festivals on the fall circuit. “Second-tier” is in no way a dismissive term. It’s a cool, classy regional festival that doesn’t need to be Cannes or Berlin or Sundance or Telluride. The vibe is always smart and sophisticated; never anxious or strained. Screenings + seminars + strolls and bike rides + great food. Well-attended, smartly programmed and lots of shade. Last night was a rematch with Meg Ryan‘s Ithaca, which I saw and reviewed at the Middleburg Film Festival. Tonight’s big attraction at the SCAD trustees theatre is HE’s own Room.
Meg Ryan at lecturn prior to last night’s screening of Ithaca. For the occasion the Savannah Film Festival gave her a Lifetime Career Award. Born in ’61, Ryan has been at it for 35 years, give or take. The peak years were ’89 (When Harry Met Sally) to ’00 (Proof of Life — her last reasonably good film). Other highlights: Joe Versus the Volcano, The Doors, Prelude to a Kiss, Sleepless in Seattle, When a Man Loves a Woman, I.Q., French Kiss, Courage Under Fire, City of Angels, Hurlyburly, You’ve Got Mail, Hanging Up.