Cinema/Chicago News

TAKE 2: What to See in Theaters and Stream in February 2020

Portrait of a Lady on Fire opens at the Music Box Theatre on February 21.

Welcome to TAKE 2, our monthly feature where we highlight recent Chicago International Film Festival selections that are now playing in theaters or on streaming platforms in case you missed them at the Festival! Take a look below for the best of #ChiFilmFest to watch this month.

In Theaters


Director: Alma Har’el
Special Presentations, 55th Chicago International Film Festival

From a screenplay by Shia LaBeouf, award-winning filmmaker Alma Har’el brings to life a young actor’s stormy childhood and early adult years as he struggles to reconcile with his father through cinema and dreams. Fictionalizing his childhood ascent to stardom, and subsequent adult crash-landing into rehab and recovery, Har’el casts Noah Jupe and Lucas Hedges as Otis Lort, navigating different stages in a frenetic career. LaBeouf takes on the daring and therapeutic challenge of playing a version of his own father, an ex-rodeo clown and a felon. Har’el’s feature narrative debut is a one-of-a-kind collaboration between filmmaker and subject, exploring art as therapy and imagination as hope.

Opens February 7, visit website for showtimes
Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N State St, Chicago, IL 60601


Director: Levan Akin
Out-Look Competition/Global Currents, 55th Chicago International Film Festival

A love letter to Georgian dance, this tale of a young man yearning to break free from convention centers on a gifted performer struggling with the expectations of tradition and family while increasingly giddy with desire for a fellow student. With same-sex relationships still taboo within the ultraconservative confines of Georgian society, can Merab be true to himself and remain in his homeland?

Opens February 14, visit website for showtimes
Music Box Theater, 3733 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60613


Director: Céline Sciamma
International Competition, 55th Chicago International Film Festival

In 18th century France, a reluctant bride and the artist commissioned to paint her portrait find themselves in the grips of an attraction too strong to resist. With her wedding fast approaching, Héloïse initially refuses to sit for Marianne, but the combative tension between the two women gives way to tentative trust and then unbridled fervor. Céline Sciamma’s startling, seductive period romance is brought to life with passion, nuance, and grace.

Opens February 21, visit website for showtimes
Music Box Theater, 3733 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60613


Director: Patricio Guzmán
Documentary Competition, 55th Chicago International Film Festival

In this stunning follow-up to his political reveries Nostalgia for the Light and The Pearl Button, venerable filmmaker Patricio Guzmán once again focuses on Chile’s topography as a metaphor for its past and present. Here, he spotlights the looming Andean mountain range that acts as both protector and dispassionate observer of the country’s traumas. Winner of Cannes’ top documentary prize, the film is a potent and poetic inquiry into national memory.

Screening Details:
Opens Febryary 21, visit website for showtimes
Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N State St, Chicago, IL 60601


Director: Angela Schanelec
Global Currents, 55th Chicago International Film Festival

Widow Astrid is struggling to raise two children after her husband’s death. When her son disappears for a week, returning with a toe in need of amputation, she can no longer cope. With a nod to the likes of Ozu and Bresson, this elegiac drama unfolds in abstract poetic fragments with unexpected moments of lightness, capturing the disorienting heartbreak of loss and the healing that can happen only in time.

Screening Details:
Opens Febryary 28, visit website for showtimes
Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N State St, Chicago, IL 60601


Director: Marco Bellocchio
Special Presentations, 55th Chicago International Film Festival

The Traitor tells the true story of Tommaso Buscetta, the man who brought down the Cosa Nostra. In the early 1980s, an all-out war rages between Sicilian mafia bosses over the heroin trade. Tommaso Buscetta, a made man, flees to hide out in Brazil. Back home, scores are being settled, and Buscetta watches from afar as his sons and brother are killed in Palermo, knowing he may be next. Arrested and extradited to Italy by the Brazilian police, Buscetta makes a decision that will change everything for the Mafia: He decides to meet with Judge Giovanni Falcone and betray the eternal vow he made to the Cosa Nostra.

Screening Details:
Opens February, visit website for showtimes
Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema, 2828 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60657

On Streaming


Director: Trey Edward Shults
Special Presentations, 55th Chicago International Film Festival

Set against the vibrant landscape of South Florida, and featuring an astonishing ensemble of award-winning actors and breakouts alike, Waves traces the epic emotional journey of a suburban African-American family—led by a well-intentioned but domineering father—as they navigate love, forgiveness, and coming together in the aftermath of a loss. From acclaimed director Trey Edward Shults, Waves is a heartrending story about the universal capacity for compassion and growth even in the darkest of times.

Streaming Details:
Waves is available to rent on digital services starting February 4.


Director: Travis Stevens
After Dark, 55th Chicago International Film Festival

Home improvement can be horrible—but for Don (CM Punk), a tattooed dad-to-be fixing up his newly acquired turn-of-the-century Victorian, they can be downright gruesome. With his wife away, Don tries to clean up his own act and the decaying drywall, but the house has other plans. With a bounty of blood-splattering body-horror, Girl on the Third Floor is a supernatural skincrawler about how things left to rot can come back to haunt you.

Streaming Details:
Girl on the Third Floor is available to stream on Netflix starting February 22.

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