[R]eturning for its 61st edition this October is BFI’s London Film Festival: starting a month today on Wednesday 4th October and running until the 15th, BFI have gathered together 242 feature films from 64 countries. Opening with the European premiere of Andy Serkis’ debut Breathe and closing with Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, it’s 11 days chocker-blocked full of some incredible new movies. To slim it down a bit for you, we’ve shortlisted 8 films that you absolutely have to check out. Scroll through our selection and watch the suspenseful trailers below to get you in the mood ready for a month’s time.
‘The florida Project’ – Sean Baker (USA 2017)
Our favourite film of the year so far, this is the second feature from director Sean Baker, who gave us the iPhone-shot masterpiece Tangerine in 2015. Set on the outskirts of Disney World, in a pastel-coloured motel in Orlando, The Florida Project follows 6-year-old Moonee (played by mini-up-and-coming-superstar Brooklynn Kimberly Prince). A sunny child’s-eye-view look on tough times, with a little known (minus Willem Dafoe) but incredible cast, this is not to be missed. Check out our intro and the trailer here and stay tuned for more soon.
13th and 14th October at Odeon Leicester Square.
‘Call me by your name’ – luca guadagnino (ITALY-FRANCE 2017)
Already being hailed as the next Brokeback Mountain, Luca Guadagnino’s latest endeavour is an adaptation of André Aciman’s novel Call Me By Your Name. Set in Northern Italy, the LGBT coming-of-age tale follows 17-year-old Elio as he meets Oliver: described as “the physical embodiment of ancient Greco-Roman beauty”, aka enough to turn anyone’s world upside-down. A film which exudes culture from every shot, soundtrack and setting, it will take you back to the fading sun-kissed summer days.
9th-11th October at Odeon Leicester Square and Hackney Picturehouse.
‘Three billboards outside ebbing, missouri’ – Martin Mcdonagh (UK 2017)
The London Film Festival’s closing night gala will be Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri from native-born Martin McDonagh, the director of Seven Psychopaths. A black-comedy drama starring Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson as they go head-to-head in their town, McDormand plays a grief-stricken but foul-mouthed mother of a recently murdered young girl, who fights for justice from the Chief of Police (Harrelson), and does this by putting up some angry, truth-telling billboards. Not. To. Be. Missed.
Sunday 15th October at Odeon Leicester Square and Embankment Garden Cinema.
‘last flag flying’ – richard linklater (USA 2017)
The latest from Richard Linklater, the man behind a diverse group of movies like Dazed and Confused and Boyhood, features a stellar cast of Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston and Laurence Fishburne. A knowing tribute to Hal Ashby’s The Last Detail from 1973, the film focuses on the three Vietnam veterans reuniting after living vastly differing lives. Another based on a novel, this one from the co-screenwriter Darryl Ponicsan, it alternates between seriousness and comedy in the most Linklater way possible.
8th-10th October at Odeon Leicester Square and Hackney Picturehouse.
‘battle of the sexes’ – Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris (USA 2017)
From the makers of Little Miss Sunshine, this is set to be a happy-go-lucky triumph; telling the feminist story of tennis player Billie Jean King, played by Academy Award Winner Emma Stone, as she attempts to take down self-proclaimed chauvinist Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell), the one-time men’s champ. A legendary tennis match, set in 1973, it looks like this will be a feel-good, playful movie, a perfect note to end the film fest on on the 14th.
7th, 9th and 14th October at Odeon Leicester Square and Curzon Mayfair.
you were never really here – lynn ramsay (UK-USA-FRANCE 2017)
Inverting the noir thriller for the festival is Lynne Ramsay, screenwriter and director of You Were Never Really Here. The mind behind We Need to Talk About Kevin (which won LFF 2011), Ramsay here has recruited Joaquin Phoenix for the role of a Gulf War veteran and former FBI agent, who has taken up the role of saving child sex ring victims. An up-and-coming cast, featuring the talented 14-year-old Ekaterina Samsonov, it’s sharply gritty with a captivating score, no wonder it won big at Cannes.
14th and 15th at Odeon Leicester Square and Rich Mix, Shoreditch.
Ingrid Goes west – matt spicer (USA 2016)
Our top-pick from LFF’s ‘LAUGH’ galas is Matt Spicer’s feature debut Ingrid Goes West, a black stalker comedy perfectly parodying of our social media-obsessed age. With the ever-dry, ever-fearless Aubrey Plaza as a crazed Instagram-obsessive, Ingrid, who gets taken into the world of Taylor Sloane – a Venice Beach babe played by the wittily daring Elizabeth Olsen. Psychopathic and hilarious, it’s a combo as twisted as Ingrid and Taylor’s friendship, check it out as soon as poss.
7th, 8th and 14th at Picturehouse Central and Curzon Mayfair.
Suspiria – Dario Argento (ITALY 1977)
Last but not least, an old school classic. Dario Argento’s 1977 masterpiece Suspiria, is without a doubt the most aesthetically pleasing horror film in existence. And it’s only going to look better at LFF, where it has been granted a 4K restoration. With set design more eye-poppingly technicolour than the red blood of the Italian dance academy members themselves, this will be one of the most stunning creations to catch.
6th and 14th at Picturehouse Central and Curzon Soho.
See bfi.org.uk/lff for more details and tickets.