Big Night at the Movies

By: Philip Stewart
By: Philip Stewart

October 28, 2006

It wasn't Hollywood, but it was pretty close for Charlottesville.

Actors Morgan Freeman and Robert Duvall were in town as part of the Virginia Film Festival.

Both screenings Friday night at the Paramount Theatre were sold out, as some locals hoped to catch a glimpse of the stars.

"It's an important film festival, but not so competitive," said actor and director Robert Duvall. "Nobody's trying to get a first prize, so it's nice to have your work recognized."

The first screening of the evening was of Duvall's 1997 film "The Apostle." In it, Duvall plays a southern Pentecostal preacher.

It's good fit for the theme of this year's festival, Revelations: Finding God at the Movies.

"It's good to emphasize religion without being in an overkill position," said Duvall

The screening of the Duvall film was sold out. So was the second film, "Ten Items or Less." It's a new film presented by yet another big name, Morgan Freeman.

Freeman recently followed up his role as God in the hit film "Bruce Almighty," by filming the sequel, "Evan Almighty," nearby in Crozet.

"I don't care where the camera is. Charlottesville, California, or Timbuktu," laughed Freeman.

As the actors talked with the press inside, movie-goers arrived outside. Before the doors opened fans lined up around the building. Many have had their tickets since the first day they went on sale.

The actors say it was a huge compliment to their work.

"Even though it's something you did a few years back, you hope it will stand up and be as valid today as it was them," Duvall said.

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