Chicago International Film Festival: What to Watch

(L-R) Kate Hudson as Birdie, Leslie Odom Jr. as Lionel, Kathryn Hahn as Claire, Edward Norton as Myles, Jessica Henwick as Peg, Madelyn Cline as Whiskey and Dave Bautista as Duke in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. Courtesy of Netflix. © 2022.

Glass Onion, If These Walls Could Sing, and Sr. are among some of the highlights playing the Chicago International Film Festival.

Because of the Jewish holiday scheduling this year, my festival prep is nowhere close to what it was in prior years. Similarly, I don’t know how many films I’ll be able to cover this year on the ground or via screeners. However, I was able to watch a number of festival selections in Toronto and a few that just played the New York Film Festival.

Much like its predecessor in 2019, Glass Onion is the fest’s centerpiece presentation. This time around, Kathryn Hahn will be in attendance to receive a Career Achievement Award. Audience members attending the Music Box Theatre screening are in for a treat. I’ve seen the film and it’s an absolute blast. It’s my #1A for the year.

The fest will close with White Noise, which I recently watched in New York.

Chicago International Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival
Chicago International Film Festival

Special Presentations

The Banshees of Inisherin, Devotion, Empire of Light, and Women Talking are among the Special Presentations that I previously saw in Toronto. I did not get to see The Whale in Toronto because the theater was at capacity. Jonathan Majors will be receiving an Artistic Achievement Award at the Devotion screening and director JD Dillard will also be in attendance. Do not let this film go under your Chicago International Film Festival radar. It was one of my favorite films in Toronto and I highly recommend it. Women Talking filmmaker Sarah Polley and cinematographer Luc Montpellier will be receiving a Visionary Award at the screening.

International Competition

Minus my knee injury at the world premiere Elegance Bratton’s semi-biographical The Inspection features some of the strongest acting performances that I’ve seen this year. I have not seen Corsage yet but it’s on my list to do. Monica, which stars Trace Lysette and Patricia Clarkson, is another film on my list and has been on my radar ever since it got selected for Venice. Because of timing with the Jewish holidays, I don’t know if I’ll be getting to it in Chicago.


If These Walls Could Sing and Sr. are already among my favorite documentaries of the year. Louis Armstrong’s Black and Blues is among the best music docs of the year and will be on Apple TV+ shortly. The Return of Tanya Tucker –  Featuring Brandi Carlile will be opening in theaters later this month.


I’ve already seen Butcher’s Crossing, Call Jane, Causeway, The Lost King, and The Wonder. Jennifer Lawrence goes back to her indie roots in the NOLA-shot drama. Meanwhile, Sally Hawkins puts on an award-worthy performance in the newest team-up from the group that gave us Philomena.

The 2022 Chicago International Film Festival runs October 12-23, 2022.

Please subscribe to Solzy at the Movies on Substack.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.