London Film Festival Picks: Home Grown opinion

The eternal dull and repetitive debate about the health of the British film industry can take a break. Or, at least, we can be positive about it for once. Maybe. Just like the headliners, European, and international films, the British selection at this year’s London Film Festival looks very impressive. Here are five that we really like the look and sound and taste of:

Under the Skin

A white-hot pick regardless of its British roots, dark sci-fi film Under the Skin had (almost) everyone at the Venice Film Festival excited about it, garnering several five-star reviews from some prominent journalists. Featuring Scarlett Johansson who, evidently, has decided to start acting well again, director Jonathan Glazer appears to be set to make the biggest impression he has made since his 2000 debut Sexy Beast.

The Double

Richard Ayoade’s Submarine was an impressive debut and the funny director looks set to push things further with the more ambitious The Double. With Mia Wasikowska. You can’t go wrong with a bit of Mia Wasikowska.

Locke

Another American-British co-production, not unlike Under the Skin, Locke is set in Britain featuring one of Britain’s finest actors and is helmed by a British writer-director. So we’ll just claim this one as our exclusive own. A film about one man driving a car, it is hardly a riveting prospect, but if anyone can successfully hold the attention in such a scenario it’s Tom Hardy. Of course, it also takes a ballsy director with a very strong script to tackle such a premise but Steven Knight appears to have pulled it off, the film having gone down well at its premiere in Venice recently.

The Selfish Giant

Following her acclaimed debut feature The Arbor, that won Best Newcomer for the writer-director at the 2010 London Film Festival, Clio Barnard’s new film, “inspired by the Oscar Wilde story of the same name” has gained a lot of attention and rave reviews from screenings at festivals in recent months. It also goes on general release in the UK at the end of October, so there’s plenty of opportunity to see it.

The Zero Theorem

There are some filmmakers whose films are just too compelling to miss, even if you have a strong, educated suspicion that they will be far from perfect. Terry Gilliam’s latest has had middling reviews but this will be a spectacle, with characters and worlds born out of a unique, wild imagination. And Christoph Waltz exploring the meaning of life? Can’t resist.

Others…

Others worth keeping an eye on include Half a Yellow Sun (coupled with 12 Years a Slave, clearly, Chiwetel Ejofor’s time has finally come), Gone Too Far (clips from which suggesting this will be a fun debut), and Starred Up (from a reliable director tackling a tough subject).

11th Sep 2013