What To See At 2018’s BFI London Film Festival

So, it’s been an exciting time recently hasn’t it?! With the release of the full BFI London Film Festival schedule, we now know what we have to look forward to. Last week the Members tickets went on sale and tomorrow the general public will also be able to buy tickets (you know, whatever is left once the Members have had at them!)

With this I thought I’d roundup what I’m most looking forward to 13 days after it’s been announced BUT 1 days before the public booking is released. There’s a staggering amount of films on offer for the 62nd year of the festival. Here’s what I think you should be watching.

Beautiful Boy

Starring Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet as father and son in this brutally heartbreaking film about a lifelong struggle with addiction. Directed by Felix van Groeningen and based on the novel of the real life father and son, the film is one of the festival’s main attractions this year. If you didn’t cry at the trailer WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!

Widows

Steve McQueen returns with his first feature film in 5 years which he has co-written with Gillian Flynn. His previous film was the Oscar winning 12 years a Slave and this time with Widows, he’s gone for a character driven action movie. Starring Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki and Carrie Coon, the quartet become widows to their criminal husbands after they are ambushed in shootout with the police. Wanting to finish what they started, the four find unexpected solidarity and empowerment as they work together.

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

The latest in the Cohen brother’s plethora of films, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a Netflix film which has also received a small distribution into cinemas. Tim Blake Nelson, Liam Neeson, Tom Waits, Zoe Kazan and Bill Heck star in this western comedy drama, centred on the title character. The anthology western follow multiple storylines including a bank robber who gets his due and a gothic tale about a couple of travelling performers.

Happy New Year, Colin Burstead

As you can see from the image below, at one point this film, by Ben Wheatley, was called Colin You Anus which is a much catchier title I’m sure you’ll agree. However I assume for marketing purposes they had to change it. Oh well! Starring Joe Cole, Charles Dance, Neil Maskell and Alexandra Maria Lara, the story centres around a new years celebration in which Colin feels under threat to his position of power within his own family after the arrival of his estranged brother David.

The Elephant Queen

Shot over eight years, The Elephant Queen is a documentary about a herd of elephants. One of the mothers, Athena wants to do everything to protect them as they are forced to leave their watering hole. Narrated by Chiwetel Ejiofor, the narrative takes place across the African savannah as it tells the tale of loss, love and family.

Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché

Alice Guy-Blaché is the first ever female director, creating her debut film in 1896 at the age of 23. She then went on to write, direct or produce more than 1,000 films. This is her story.

The Favourite

The latest from director Yorgos Lanthimos, the man behind Killing of a Sacred Deer and The Lobster returns with his latest oddball movie which is part comedy, part drama, part wincing at something on screen. Starring Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone, it tells the story of early 18th century England, a frail Queen Anne (Colman) occupies the throne and her close friend Lady Sarah (Weisz) governs the country in her stead. When a new servant Abigail (Stone) arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah.

Sometimes Always Never

Starring Bill Nighy, Alice Lowe and Sam Riley, Sometimes Always Never is director Carl Hunter’s first ever feature film. He works with screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce to bring this drama to the big screen. Nighy plays Alan whose eldest son storms out of the house never to return. Years later, he and his other son (Riley) a still searching for him.

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote

Being in production hell since the 80s with multiple attempts to get this project going, it’s finally been filmed and and is ready to be released by Terry Gilliam. Telling the story of Toby (Adam Driver), an advertising executive who is pulled into a fantasy world of of time jumping and a Spanish cobbler. Jonathan Pryce and Stellan Skarsgård join Driver on this psychedelic sounding break from the norm.

The Vice of Hope

A gritty and gripping depiction of someone who is striving to escape her life of vice and crime. Here, Maria (Pina Turco) a tough and determined young woman lives in a bleak neighborhood with horrible memories of childhood trauma as she deals with being a prostitute and child trafficking. Becoming used to this way of life, she find that everything changes when she falls pregnant.

Tehran: City of Love

Director and co-writer Ali Jaberansari creates a relateable trio of stories surrounding the subject of love, seen from the point of view of different people in different way. One is a woman who is unhappy with her weight but addicted to ice cream. she catfishes men she encounters at work. Another who is a funeral singer is urged to perform at weddings instead after his long-term girlfriend leaves him. Meanwhile a retired bodybuilder is cast in a film with an actor he has never heard of but who the producer claims is actually very famous. An interesting collection of stories coming from a Persian storyteller, who second feature film comes with a Q&A on the 14th October.

Wildlife

Starring Carey Mulligan, Jake Gyllenhaal and Ed Oxenbould, Wildlife is Paul Dano’s feature directorial debut which he co-wrote with Zoey Kazan. That’s a lot of pretty well-known names and going by the trailer, it’s going to be an emotional ride. Joe (Oxenbould) and his parents (Mulligan and Gyllenhaal) move to the suburbs in Montana after needing a change. However the teenager soon witnesses the disintegration of his parents marriage as his mother find another man.

Soni 

As an Indian female police officer, Soni (Geetika Vidya Ohlyan) has seen her fare share of abusive treatment, especially when she is used as live bait in order to trap sexual predators and violent men. This calls for her to be well-equipt when it comes to self-defense, however one incident in which she is particularly hot-headed causes he to be charged with misconduct and threatens her career. An interesting sounding film in which male and female roles will be looked at and possibly defined. In a country where women are seen as second class citizens, this will be a very interesting character study.

Peterloo

A first for the London Film Festival, Peterloo will premiere in Manchester due to the historical importance linked with the city. Retelling the story of a peaceful protest which British forces attacked, Mike Leigh serves as writer and director. Starring Maxine Peake and Rory Kinnear, the tale of a protest of wanting reform due to the rising living costs and the hard working being ripped off which cause the government to become increasingly nervous. One for the history books me thinks.

The Little Drummer Girl (First two episodes)

A first (as far as I know) for the festival in that a couple of episodes of a TV show are going to be shown before it’s general release later this year on BBC1. Starring Michael Shannon, Alexander Skarsgård, Florence Pugh, Clare Holman and Kate Sumpter, the plot revolves around an English actor who is asked to infiltrate a group as an Israeli in order to bring an end to the series of bombings.

So there you have it! My choices for this years London Film Festival, whether I get to see any of them, well I suppose I’ll have to see. I have my eighth and final wedding (no, that’s not me getting married eight times!) of the year which is during the festival. Oh well!

Keep. It. Reel.

Weekly Round-Up: 15th July, 2018

So, this is a bit later than normal. To be fair I was relaxing on Sunday and time just got away from me. Yes I was being lazy… I was going to mention the World Cup and England but it seems redundant now after France won it yesterday. Congratulations by the way.

Anyway, this has been a great week for creepy posters (hello Winnie you weirdo), getting our first look at Glass, an exciting BFI London Film Festival announcement and yours truly received a history lesson. Apparently I don’t know everything.

Trailers and Posters

The Favourite

Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz star in The Favourite, the latest offering from Yorgos Lanthimos. An unstable Queen Anne (Colman) sits on the throne whilst her friend Lady Sarah (Weisz) starts to bond with a new servant Abigail (Stone). It looks as odd as you’d expect from Lanthimos.

 

Orange is the New Black

Orange is the New Black isn’t just the current President, it’s also a damn good TV show. Although I’m a few seasons behind, I’d love to catch up! Here’s a new poster and trailer for the upcoming sixth season

 

Christopher Robin

Creepy in the trailer and creepy in the posters. Say what you want, these characters look freaking weird! Check out the new trailer and character posters for Christopher Robin.

Life Itself

Life Itself tells the story of a couple who after meeting at college, get married and have a baby. Their life and relationship creates events which echo across the world. Starring Oscar Isaac, Olivia Cooke, Mandy Patinkin, Olivia Wilde, Antonio Banderas and Annette Bening.

 

Castle Rock

More of Stephen King’s writing is getting it’s own adaptation. This time it’s Castle Rock, a fictional town in which strange things start to happen after a young man shows up at Shawshank prison

 

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

The (potentially pointless) reboot of Sabrina aka Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, has an eerie new poster in which Salem takes centre stage. Why? Not a clue! Coming to Netflix in 2018 and a trailer is landing at this year’s SDCC.

 

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Coming from it’s success at Sundance The Miseducation of Cameron Post has an official trailer. Showing an oppressed young girl who is forced in gay conversion therapy

 

Mary Queen of Scots

Mary Queen of Scots has a couple of character posters which have a grainy painted effect. Nice! Starring Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan it tells the story of how Mary Stuart attempts to overthrow her cousin Elizabeth I and is condemned to prison. (My knowledge of history is terrible normally but I nicked this from IMDB ) There’s also a trailer which looks pretty good but I’m feeling a bit meh about this film…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Meg

The Meg is about to have a furry snack, not the dog you bastard! Why would you do that?! 🐶🦈

News

Captain Marvel

It was confirmed this week by none other than Brie Larson that they have wrapped on Captain Marvel. Exciting times for the 21st MCU movie which is out on March next year, JUST before Avengers 4. This will be the first MCU movie which has been fronted by a female lead character and after 10 years it’s about time.

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The Predator

A couple of new images of the upcoming new Predator film, showing off some new hardcore armour. Starring Boyd Holbrook, Olivia Munn, Sterling K Brown, this rebooted version will be out in September

 

Lando Calrissian Returns In Episode IX

It seems the unanswered question of where the hell is Lando is finally being answered after it was announced that Billie Dean Williams is returning as the charismatic character in 2019’s Star Wars: Episode IX. More on it here.

 

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

A new image from Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald has been released. Here’s Newt Scamander in all his glory, I hope this is better than the last one which, let’s be honest, was pretty average…

 

Birds of Prey

I must have missed this but there’s yet another Harley Quinn movie in production, this one is called Birds of Prey and will be directed by Cathy Yan. To sum up there’s this, Gotham City Sirens, Suicide Squad 2 and a Joker/Harley Quinn movie (plus other non Harley Quinn films) all in the works. Seems a bit much DC!

 

Robocop Returns

Neill Blomkamp is making a return to the big screen after 2015’s Chappie with Robocop Returns, a sequel to the 1987 original. *sigh* how about we do something original instead?? 

 

Shazam

The first official image of the utterly ridiculous looking Shazam . I mean, really?? 😂

 

Glass

A few brightly coloured images have been released for Glass, the sequel by M. Night Shyamalan which merges Unbreakable and Split into one. A bizarre concept which feels like it could just work. Starring Bruce Willis, Samuel L Jackson, James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy and Sarah Paulson

 

Black Widow

Cate Shortland has been picked from a long list of directors (apparently it was about 70 ) to helm the solo Black Widow movie. Traditionally an indie filmmaker, it’s great to see a big budget film go to her. Looking forward to see what they will do with this

 

Godzilla: King of Monsters.

The first images for Godzilla: King of Monsters have been released and it looks like he’s got a bit of bad breathe… Starring Millie Bobby Brown, Vera Farmiga, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, Kyle Chandler and Charles Dance, the next in the monster franchise is out in 2019

 

Widows

After being announced as the opening film of BFI London Film Festival, here’s a new image from Widows. Directed by Steve McQueen the film is out in November.

 

A Downton Abbey

A Downton Abbey movie has been confirmed by Hugh Boneville’s Instagram account. The script has been written by Julian Fellowes and will be directed by Brian Percival who helmed the Downton Abbey pilot. Out in 2019, this should class the cinemas up a bit 

 

Industry News

DreamWorks Animation Launches New Programme

A new animation which has been designed to be more inclusive and focus on short animated films has been launched DreamWorks Animation. For more on this story, please click here.

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BFI London Film Festival

The opening film of the 62nd BFI London Film Festival has been announced as Steve McQueen’s Widows which is the directors return to the big screen after 2013’s 12 Years a Slave. Read more about this exciting announcement here.

Reviews

Mini Review: Skyscraper 

Starring Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Chin Han, Noah Taylor

A man is framed for causing a life threatening fire in the world’s tallest building. He must battle against the odds in order to clear his name and save his family.

Thanks to Dwayne Johnson and the outrageous stunts he pulls off during the film, Skyscraper is exactly what you expect it to be. It has a pretty thin plot with characters who are never fully fleshed out but it’s so much mindless fun, you won’t care about that. With action sequences that’ll make you feel and wince, Skyscraper is the dumb summer film we’ve been waiting for.

3 out of 5.

Keep It. Reel.