Jamie Foxx, Edward Norton, other A-listers to be at film fest

Danny Trejo sports his tattoos.

You’d probably recognize his craggy face, lopsided mustache and multiple tattoos, possibly because he’s appeared in more than 400 movies and TV shows, yet you may not know his name.

But if you attend this year’s Mill Valley Film Festival (the 42nd edition) and catch “Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo,” you’re unlikely to ever forget the moniker.

The documentary is just under two hours of inspiration, the real-life story of a man raised in a California town’s Mexican/Chicano ghetto who became addicted to heroin at the age of 12, a criminal who spent years behind bars in San Quentin and a handful of other state prisons, a man who turned himself completely around to be a drug-and-alcohol counselor and then became addicted again, this time to helping others.

The doc — which I screened in advance but will be an Oct. 6 special premiere event at the festival (with an in-person appearance by director Brett Harvey as well as the hombre who changed from tough-guy character and voice actor to leading man in 2010 via the bloody action-thriller “Machete”) — is an intense, sometimes difficult-to-watch portrait of a man who chooses to have a better life.

The festival, which opens tomorrow and runs through Oct. 13 will feature 12 world premieres, 11 North American premieres and 17 U.S. premieres in four main theaters — spotlighting a slew of potential Oscar winners.

In my estimation, it’s probably the best line-up in years, and that’s saying a lot because the festival’s long been a world-class affair.

Personal appearances are expected by, among others, A-list performers Jamie Foxx (opening night’s film, “Just Mercy”), Edward Norton (closing night’s “Motherless Brooklyn”), Robert Pattinson (“The Lighthouse”) and Kristen Stewart (“Seberg”).

Other movies expected to draw well include “Ford v Ferrari,” starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale; “Clemency,” featuring Alfre Woodard; “Marriage Story,” with Laura Dern; and a documentary about a notorious Donald Trump mentor, “Where’s My Roy Cohn?”

A restored version of Philip Kaufman’s 1988 classic, “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” is also likely to pull in a crowd — as should a series of adjunct concerts at Sweetwater Music Hall.

I’m not sure who else will show up, but my granddaughter and I plan to enjoy two cartoon anthologies Oct. 5, “As the World Turns” and “Fresh & Fearless.”

A little something for virtually every taste and every age bracket (as usual)?

Of course!

For more information on the festival, call 415-383-5256 or check out https://www.mvff.com.

Contact Woody Weingarten, a member of the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle, at www.vitalitypress.com/ or voodee@sbcglobal.net.

About the Author

Woody WeingartenWoody Weingarten, who can be reached at www.vitalitypress.com/ or voodee@sbcglobal.net, can’t remember when he couldn’t talk — or play with words. His first poem was published in high school but when his hormones announced the arrival of adulthood, he figured he’d rather eat than rhyme. So he switched to journalism. And whadda ya know, the bearded, bespectacled fella has used big, small and hyphenated words professionally since jumpstarting his career in New Yawk City more than 60 years ago. Today the author of the book “Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner’s breast cancer” is also a reviewer-critic, blogger and publisher — despite allegedly being retired. During his better-paid years as a wage slave he was an executive editor and writer for daily and weekly publications in California, Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York. He won writing awards for public service and investigation, features, columns, editorials and news. Woody also has published weekly and monthly newspapers, and written a national column for “Audio” magazine. A graduate of Colgate University, he owned a public relations/ad agency and managed an advertising publication. The father of two and grandfather of three, he and his wife, Nancy Fox, have lived in San Anselmo in Marin County for three decades. He figures they'll stay.View all posts by Woody Weingarten →