'The Comedian' Starring Robert De Niro to Open Capri Hollywood Fest

The Comedian - Still 2- H 2016
Courtesy of Alison Cohen Rosa/Sony Pictures Classics

The Oscar-winning actor plays a bitter stand-up comedian in his new film, which will have its European premiere on the Italian island.

The Comedian, starring Robert De Niro, will open the Capri Hollywood Film Festival on Dec. 27 in its European premiere.

The film, directed by Taylor Hackford (Ray), stars De Niro as aging insult comic Jackie Burke, who gets a second lease on life after meeting Harmony (Leslie Mann). The two find inspiration in each other, and his resulting new material finds the formerly has-been comic going viral. 

An all-star supporting cast includes Edie Falco, Billy Crystal, Danny DeVito, Charles GrodinCloris Leachman, Harvey Keitel and Patti LuPone. Art Linson, Jeff Ross, Richard LaGravenese and Lewis Friedman wrote the screenplay. It opens wide stateside Jan. 13 from Sony Pictures Classics but will have a limited release on Dec. 2 in order to qualify it for awards season. 

The Capri Hollywood Festival takes place over the New Year and is considered a key destination on the road to the Oscars. Also coming to the Italian island this year is a special screening of Damien Chazelle's La La Land. Lead Emma Stone took home the best actress award for her work in the film after its premiere in Venice earlier this year. 

Hacksaw Ridge producer Bill Mechanic will be honored this year. Stephen Frears will receive the European director of the year award for Florence Foster Jenkins. And Gianfranco Rosi's Fire at Sea, which is being submitted to the Academy both as Italy's best foreign-language film and as best documentary, will receive Capri's European film of the year award. The festival will also host a special tribute to producer Dino de Laurentiis

The Capri Hollywood Film Festival takes place from Dec. 27, 2016 to Jan. 2, 2017.