With Venice and Cannes already wrapped, all eyes are set to turn to London where the BFI London Film Festival kicks off on 4th October. Expect big things as some of the biggest films premier there each year – last year’s line-up included La La Land, Lion, Nocturnal Animals and Manchester by the Sea…
So what can we expect this time? A comparably huge number of female directors (72 out of the 242 feature films), a strong strand of LGBT interest films, as well as immigration and social division-themed stories. Sound good? It gets better. You can be there and get access to screenings, Q&A’s and other events. “What’s really exciting about the festival is that we have over 800 filmmakers and talent attending – and some of them will introduce screenings or do Q&A’s – so you’ll get the chance to hear from them first-hand about their films,” the festival’s director Clare Stewart told us. Keep scrolling to discover the the ten films everyone will be talking about soon…
Killing of a Sacred Deer
Following Sophia Coppola’s The Beguiled, Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman join forces for the second time this year in The Killing of a Sacred Deer, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster). Interlacing elements of Greek tragedy, surrealism and absurdist horror, this tale of morality is already being talked of as a big awards season candidate. Clare Stewart also told us she thinks Barry Keoghan, who you might have seen in Dunkirk, is the new actor to watch.
Battle of the Sexes
Last year’s Best Actress Oscar-winner Emma Stone returns with a film based on the legendary 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King (Stone) and Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell). How do we know you’ll love this? It’s by Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, the filmmaking duo behind feel-good cult film Little Miss Sunshine.
On Chesil Beach
Based on the acclaimed short novel by Ian McEwan, Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle play a young couple struggling to physically connect on their honeymoon in the early 1960s. The melancholic love story, which is director Dominic Cooke’s debut, is bound to touch hearts around the world.
Sam Claflin, Asa Butterfield and Tom Sturridge star in the war drama Journey’s End, an adaptation of R C Sherriff’s 1928 play. The cast is already being celebrated for their performances that showcase the First World War’s tragic effect on a generation.
How To Talk To Girls At Parties
Science fiction film How To Talk To Girls At Parties stars Nicole Kidman and Elle Fanning. To make things even more exciting, the incredible cosmic costumes were conceived by legendary designer Sandy Powell (she has been nominated for 12 Oscars to date) so it’s a must-see for anyone with an interest in fashion. Under 25? Then you shouldn’t miss out on the £5 advance tickets for the screenings on 6th October at 6.30pm and 9pm.
Andy Serkis’ directorial debut Breathe has been chosen as part of the festival’s opening night gala and was described as a “powerful and affecting film that is also a beacon for remarkable British talent” by Clare Stewart. Leading actors Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy will touch you in this inspirational love story that defies all odds.
“This is an amazing film for aspiring filmmakers to watch. The cast is great and it is a really potent film for everything that’s going on in the world right now,” Clare Stewart told us about Mudbound – a film about the friendship of two Second World War veterans that sparks racial tensions. It is female director Dee Rees’ third film, following the acclaimed Pariah and Bessie.
A fan of films based on true stories? Stronger deals with the compelling memoir of Jeff Bauman (portrayed by Jake Gyllenhaal), a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing who lost both his legs in the attack. Be prepared for a rousing drama that will leave you both devastated and inspired.
Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool
Anette Bening plays iconic Hollywood actress Gloria Grahame in Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, a story about Grahame’s intense romance with the much younger man Peter Turner. Expect humour, passion and emotion in this film adapted from Turner’s own memoir.
The Meyerowitz Stories
This definitely isn’t your average Ben Stiller or Adam Sandler movie. The pair reunite – and dazzle – in The Meyerowitz Stories, a strikingly funny comedy about an unusual New York family. We have a feeling this will become an instant classic…
Looking for something a bit more unique?
“You’ll get the change to see international films at the festival that you might not usually get to see at all, as they don’t have an UK distribution date. For example Saturday Church (for anyone who loved Moonlight and Glee), the documentary Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex Fashion & Disco or the visually stunning Florida Project.” – Clare Stewart
Tickets are on sale to the general public from today.
If you’re under 25 you can also get £5 tickets on the door and students can get tickets for £9 on evening and weekends.