Musical biopics headline New Orleans Film Fest _lowres

Photo by KERRY BROWN -- Saoirse Ronan as young Irish immigrant as Eilis Lacey in ‘Brooklyn.’

The New Orleans Film Festival has announced its opening and closing night films, its centerpiece film and five spotlight films.

“Born to be Blue,” starring Ethan Hawke as a character similar to classic jazz artist Chet Baker, will open the festival Oct. 14 at the Orpheum Theater. Following a screening at the Toronto Film Festival, Variety reviewer Andrew Barker cited Hawke’s performance as one of the best of his career.

“Brooklyn,” a drama about a young Irish woman who emigrates to the U.S. in the early 1950s, will close the festival Oct. 22 at the Prytania Theatre.

Reviewing for The Hollywood Reporter from the Sundance Film Festival, Todd McCarthy described “Brooklyn” as a superbly acted romantic drama, classily and classically crafted from Colm Toibin’s novel. Irish actress Saoirse Ronan leads the cast.

“I Saw the Light,” a biopic about country music star Hank Williams, is this year’s centerpiece film. The screening date will be announced.

Filmed at Millennium Studios in Shreveport, “I Saw the Light” stars British actor Tom Hiddleston as Williams, the composer of “Cold Cold Heart,” “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” “Jambalaya” and more country classics.

Spotlight films

“Youth”: A comedy about two longtime friends who vacation in the Swiss Alps, starring Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel and Rachel Weisz. Screening date to be announced.

“Carol”: An adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel “The Price of Salt,” starring Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara and Sarah Paulson. Showing Oct. 16 at the Prytania Theatre.

“The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution”: A documentary about the rise and fall of the Black Panther Party. Showing Oct. 17 at the Orpheum Theater.

“The Reflektor Tapes”: A documentary about the making of Arcade Fire’s “Reflektor” album. Arcade Fire will be present. Showing Oct. 17 at the Orpheum Theater.

“Legend”: Tom Hardy plays dual roles as 1960s twin British gangsters Reggie and Ron Kray. Showing Oct. 18 at the Prytania Theatre.