London Film Festival Picks: European opinion

With its rich history of artistic cinema, Europe is a veritable factory of festival fodder, and, unsurprisingly, France is especially dominant within the London Film Festival’s wide European selection. While you could quite easily craft an itinerary for your own French film festival, here are five fresh fish caught after casting the net out slightly wider:


One of the great things about film festivals like the LFF is the opportunity to see great films that will never gain a general cinema release. An example of this is The Last Days of Emma Blank, a gloriously twisted, deeply black oddball comedy, that was screened at the 2009 London Film Festival. The return of its director, Alex van Warmerdam, is enough to put this film near the top of a black comedy fan’s must-see list. In all likelihood it won’t be a classic but it should be a riotous ride.

Grand Central

French film! The primary area of interest in Grand Central is the involvement of two very much up-and-coming actors; Tahar Rahim (stunning in A Prophet, also appearing in The Past) and Léa Seydoux (currently receiving lots of love for Blue is the Warmest Colour).

Jeune et Jolie

Another French film! One of the festival’s more experienced writer-directors, François Ozon’s tale of a girl’s sexual awakening has been garnering largely positive reviews sine its premiere at Cannes. His second film to be released this year (after year-so-far-favourite In The House), Jeune et Joli / Young and Beautiful will also be in UK cinemas in November.

Child’s Pose

While the winner of The Golden Bear, the Berlin Film Festival’s big prize, doesn’t always stand the test of time as a grand moment in cinema, it is usually at least a decent indicator of quality, especially when there are so many unknowns in the London Film Festival line-up. This latest winner then, a bleak Romanian film about a mother attempting to cope with her wayward adult son, is promising, and the trailer suggests a rather taut and gripping drama is in store.


A pretty big deal in its native Norway, Kon-Tiki, based on Thor Heyerdahl’s famous 1947 escapade, has already been widely seen, largely acclaimed, and earned a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Academy Awards.


Oh, there are even more French films? How about Chinese Puzzle, the Pot Luck and Russian Dolls sequel from Cédric Klapisch with A-listers Audrey Tautou and Romain Duris? Or popular comedy Me, Myself and Mum? Or intriguing based-on-real-events thriller with strong cast 11.6? Or Camille Claudel 1915? Simply because Juliette Binoche is in it?

7th Sep 2013