LFF 2017 Highlights Part 1

It is just about half way through the BFI London Film Festival, and there have been some great films shown. Here are some LFF 2017 highlights from the first week of screenings…

LFF 2017 Highlights – Unmissable

Call Me By Your Name

Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name is undoubtedly one of the most romantic films of the year. Starring Armie Hammer and Timothée Chamalet, the film offers wonderful storytelling, beautiful imagery, and great performances. READ MORE

Mudbound

Dee Rees’ Mudbound is a film with heart. The screenplay has a poetic quality, and is ably backed up by Rees’ directing and performances from the talented cast. READ MORE

Brigsby Bear

Dave McCary’s feature debut perfectly balances comedy with a sweet and sincere tale. Brigsby Bear is very, very funny without diminishing its dark premise. Co-writer and star Kyle Mooney stands out in particular. READ MORE

LFF 2017 Highlights – Best of the Rest

Spoor

Agnieszka Holland’s wonderful Spoor blends mystery and comedy with a thriller to create a rather memorable film. With a great central performance from Agnieszka Mandat, Spoor is a very enjoyable film. READ MORE

Wonderstruck

Todd Haynes’ adaptation of Brian Selznick’s novel is the right kind of whimsy. Transporting the audience to the New York of the 1920s and 1970s, Wonderstruck features some great performances. READ MORE

Ingrid Goes West

Aubrey Plaza shines as a social media-obsessed young woman in Ingrid Goes West. Matt Spicer’s debut is achingly contemporary and a lot of fun. READ MORE

Loving Vincent

Loving Vincent blends technical achievement with an engaging narrative. Marvel at the hand drawn animation in the style of Vincent Van Gogh, whilst learning about his final days. READ MORE

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)

Noah Baumbach delivers yet again, with the brilliantly The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected). The film features an enviable cast, and includes Adam Sandler’s best performance for years. READ MORE

The BFI London Film Festival runs from 4th-15th October 2017. See the full programme here.

Film Review: Mudbound

Dee Rees’ drama Mudbound has a poetic quality that is immensely appealing. The film is well directed and finely acted.

Two families live in rural Mississippi; one black, one white. Both have young men who are sent to fight in World War II. Although their war experiences are similar, their home life is ever segregated…

Based on the novel by Hillary Jordan’s novel, Dee Rees and Virgil Williams’ screenplay is beautiful. The narrative is told predominantly through monologues. The four main characters have their story to tell, and Mudbound jumps from monologues from these to scenes of dialogue and action. This device works well as it helps viewers to see the events through distinct eyes, but ones that are sympathetic and empathetic.

The monologues in particular have a poetic quality to them. The language is beautiful, and works well to envelop viewers into the period and the location. This beauty is matched by the visual aesthetic. Rees and cinematographer Rachel Morrison capture both the idyllic nature of the setting and the more realistic dirt and grime of such a life.

Characters are well developed, particularly the central female ones. Both Florence and Laura have family at the centre of their worlds, yet their attitudes are distinct and their relationship with wider society is widely divergent. The similarities between Jamie and Ronsel is wonderful to watch; this strand is hopeful even though it feels like it can’t end well. Carey Mulligan, Rob Morgan, and Garrett Hedlund are particularly strong in a good cast.

The themes that occupy Mudbound revolve around race and society in a setting which feels archaic. The film seems very believable in its events, for better and worse. As much as the film is about race in this period, the film also has something to say about friendship and family relationships. Rees handles her subject matter with detail and consideration.

Mudbound is a film with heart. Rees shows her considerable talent; it will be interesting to see what she tackles next

Mudbound is being screened at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2017.

Previews: Murder on the Orient Express Poster, More!

A cornucopia of film related goodness in this week’s preview, including the new Murder on the Orient Express poster, Flatliners, Early Man, and more…

Murder on the Orient Express Poster

Here is the brand new Murder on the Orient Express poster. Directed by Kenneth Branagh, the film is based on the classic Agatha Christie novel. Branagh also stars and has assembled a stellar cast; Penelope Cruz, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Johnny Depp to name a few. Murder on the Orient Express hits UK screens in November 2017.

Flatliners Trailer

Here is the latest trailer for the new Flatliners film. The film is about a group of medical students who experiment by stopping their hearts temporarily. Starring Ellen Page and Diego Luna, Flatliners will be released in UK cinemas on 29th September 2017.

Early Man Trailer

Early Man is the latest film from Nick Park. The film is about two cavemen who unite their tribe against a mighty enemy. The voice cast features a wealth of British talent, including Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston, and Timothy Spall. Early Man is set for release in UK cinemas on 26th January 2018.

Daddy’s Home 2 Trailer

The sequel to Daddy’s Home sees the protagonists’ fathers appear for Christmas vacation. Mel Gibson and John Lithgow join the returning cast, headed by Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell. Daddy Home 2 will hit the big screen later this year.

Mudbound Trailer

Mudbound has received critical acclaim since it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Directed by Dee Rees, the film is about an unlikely friendship between a black soldier and a white soldier when they return from war. The film stars Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Mary J. Blige, and Jason Mitchell. Mudbound is screening at the BFI London Film Festival in October, and will launch on Netflix and selected cinemas on 17th November 2017.