10 Must-See Films at Hamptons International Film Festival

The stars will return to the East End Oct. 8-12 for the 23rd Annual Hamptons International Film Festival. Expect variety at the much-anticipated event. From dramadies (A Royal Night Out) to inside looks at controversies that shook us (Truth, Spotlight) and even a happy Michael Moore (Where to Invade Next), the four-day celebration of independent films promises a wide range of inspired entertainment for festival goers. If you’re heading back up to your summer home for the weekend, plan to check out a few of these can’t-miss flicks.

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The opening night film, directed by James Vanderbilt, is a sharp and insightful take on the controversial 60 Minutes investigation of George W. Bush’s military record that led to Dan Rather’s fall from grace and ended his career as a CBS news anchor. Academy Award winners Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford star as Mary Mapes and Rather, respectively. Elisabeth Moss of “Mad Men” plays Lucy Scott in the film that spotlights the relationship between journalism and politics in today’s world. See it

Bridge of Spies

Three-time Oscar winner Steven Spielberg’s dramatic theater is the story of James Donovan (Tom Hanks), a Brooklyn lawyer who gets thrust into the Cold War and sent on the dangerous mission to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot. Also starring three-time Tony Award winner Mark Rylance as Rudolf Abel, a KGB agent defended by Donovan; Scott Shepherd as CIA operative Hoffman; Academy Award nominee Amy Ryan as James’s wife, Mary; Sebastian Koch as East German lawyer Vogel; and Academy Award nominee Alan Alda as Thomas Watters, a partner at Donovan’s law firm. See it


Oscar nominees Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaten and Rachen McAdams play the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team, assigned to investigate allegations of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Tom McCarthy’s “Spotlight,” is a nuanced and thrilling procedural that examines the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation that rocked the Catholic Church. See it


Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara play two women entangled in a love affair in 1950s New York, when such a relationship was considered forbidden desire. Directed by Todd Haynes and adapted from Patricia Highsmith’s semi-autobiographical novel “The Price of Salt,” Blanchett and Mara deliver in this masterfully crafted love story. See it

A Royal Night Out

Directed by Julian Jarrold, A Royal Night Out tells the charming story of Princesses Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon) and Margaret (Bel Powley), who get to roam free in public for the first time in their lives during the 1945 Victory in Europe Day in 1945. You’ll love Powley, who was named to Variety’s 1 Actors to Watch list, as Margaret in the comedy-drama. See it

Class Divide

Class Divide, which shows the modern effects of gentrification in West Chelsea, New York through the eyes of students from both sides of the street, will make its world premiere at HIFF Friday, Oct. 9. Marc Levin’s latest will open the eyes of Long Islanders to what’s going on in our own backyard. See it

I Saw the Light


A cautionary and moving tale of the rise and untimely death at the age of 29 of country music legend Hank Williams. The phenomenal, layered performances by Tom Huddleston as Williams and Elizabeth Olsen as his wife/manager/duet partner Audrey Sheppard Williams will leave you speechless. See it

The Lady in the Van

When Alan Bennett (Alex Jennings) moves into his new London pad, he discovers Miss Mary Shepherd (Maggie Smith), an eccentric woman who claims she can speak directly with the Virgin Mary and lives out of her van. He offers her a temporary home and 15 years later, she’s still there. The Nicholas Hynter-directed flick, based on the real-life Bennett’s memoir “The Madness of George III, The History Boys,” packs the punch with wit and humor. See it

Where to Invade Next

Michael Moore is back…with a twist. The Oscar-winning documentarian who brought us “Bowling for Columbine” and “Fahrenheit 9/11” takes a refreshingly optimistic tone in Where to Invade Next. The title and the fact that Moore’s name is attached to it likely screams, “American imperialism exposed,” but think again. With a camera and flag, Moore visits multiple European countries, from Iceland to Italy, to learn more about their successful programs and practices. See it

When I Live My Life Over Again

Jude (Amber Heard), the daughter of famous singer Paul Lombard (Christopher Walken) escapes New York City like any Manhattanite would: by heading to the Hamptons. Except it’s the middle of winter. She needed the desolation to reflect and reinvent herself, finding that she inherited her pop’s musical talent and self-destructive tendencies. See it | View trailer 

beth ann clyde

beth ann clyde

Beth Ann Clyde is a Digital Editor of Long Island Pulse. Have a story idea or just want to say hello? Email bethann@lipulse.com or reach out on Twitter @BAClyde.