London Film Festival is back for another year. It runs from October 4-15, giving film fans a chance to attend glittering gala screenings, discover a cinematic gem and spot a few stars along the way. Just make sure you book what you want to see as quickly as possible – the hottest tickets always get snapped up in no time. To save you getting lost in the gargantuan programme (which includes 242 feature films), here are 10 to book ahead for…
If you want to see British stars… Start on day one with the Opening Night gala screening of Breathe (October 5), which features an array of homegrown talent. The Crown’s Claire Foy devotes herself to paralysed husband Andrew Garfield, with Tom Hollander and Hugh Bonneville in supporting roles and Lord of the Rings’ Andy Serkis making his directorial debut. See the trailer below.
If you like grizzled veterans… Bryan Cranston, Steve Carell and Laurence Fishburne sport an interesting array of facial hair in the international premiere of Last Flag Flying (October 8-10). Richard Linklater is likely to give depth and feeling to this indie-ish road movie about three veterans headed to New York.
If want to see Colin Farrell getting weird… Headline gala, The Killing of a Sacred Deer (October 12,13,15), also starring Nicole Kidman, is the one for you. Director Yorgos Lanthimos both annoyed and delighted cinema-goers with his previous film, The Lobster, and his latest effort, about things getting weird for a successful surgeon, will be even more twisted and surreal.
If you miss President Obama… The Final Year (October 8) is a documentary that recounts, you guessed it – the final year of the Obama administration. It follows the former President and his key staffers around the world with excellent access to the inner workings of the White House. A must-see for politicos.
If you liked Tangerine… Sean Baker enjoyed great success with Tangerine, a film shot on iPhones. His follow-up, The Florida Project (October 13-14), is filmed more conventionally and is set in a lurid motel close to Disney World. The film stars Willem Dafoe as the kindly motel manager, but it’s newcomer Brooklynn Prince who steals the show as a precocious kid trying to make the best of a terrible family situation. See the trailer below.
If you like boxing movies… Paddy Considine’s directorial debut Tyrannosaur was a tough and emotionally challenging domestic drama, packed with stand-out performances from the likes of Eddie Marsan, Olivia Colman and Considine himself. His new film, Journeyman (October 12-14), in which he again stars, tells the story of a boxer who suffers a major injury, and it looks very promising indeed.
If you want to experience Chinese cinema… Wrath of Silence (October 5-6, 14) is a ‘sophisticated arthouse thriller’ about a mute martial artist returns to his remote farming village following the disappearance of his son. Which sounds like a lot of fun. Having seen the butcherous trailer, we suggest eating in Chinatown to get you in the mood before watching the movie.
If you’re an art buff… Loving Vincent (October 9-10) is the world’s first ‘oil painted film’ and will definitely be worth catching on the big screen. This animation about the life of Vincent van Gogh is done in the style of his paintings and will look like nothing else at this year’s LFF. The film will be broadcast live from the National Gallery to cinemas up and down the country on October 9.
If you want to see something uplifting… Immerse yourself in Marc J Francis and Max Pugh’s documentary, Walk With Me (October 13 and 15). The filmmakers have a reputation for making enlightening documentaries whatever the subject. Here, we follow Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh and his community with narration by Benedict Cumberbatch. It’ll be the closest thing to a warm bath with scented oils that LFF has to offer.
Or something rather dark… One of the most hotly-anticipated films of the festival is You Were Never Really Here (October 14 and 15). Joaquin Phoenix stars as an enforcer for hire in this dark and brutal big screen adaptation of Jonathan Ames’ superb novella. Lynne Ramsay, who made We Need to Talk About Kevin, directs.
The 61st BFI London Film Festival Festival, in partnership with American Express, runs from October 4 – 15 and tickets go on sale at 10am on September 7 for BFI members, September 12 for Amex priority booking and on general sale on the 14th. For tickets, visit go here