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: Ingrid Goes West

Director Matt Spicer’s feature debut Ingrid Goes West is a well-written comedy. The film is very contemporary and a lot of fun.

Ingrid Thorburn has a history of mistaking social media interactions for real friendship. When Ingrid moves to Los Angeles, she attempts to ingratiate herself into the life of rising social media star Taylor Sloane…

With Ingrid Goes West, Writer-director Matt Spicer and co-writer David Branson Smith tackle the modern phenomena of social media stars and how much of their lives are depicted online. Ingrid is the perfect protagonist to enter this world. In the opening sequence her backstory is succinctly established. She is a well crafted character; unhinged and awkward, and very sympathetic.

Spicer and Smith’s screenplay is peppered with wit. There is a lot of funny dialogue throughout. In the second half of the film, the subject dictates that the tone becomes more serious. This sift in tone works, thanks to the writing and direction. Notwithstanding, jokes are never too far away. The set up of the film works well; the narration of social media captions provides many laughs. The writers are sometimes biting when tackling modern fads. This is also a great cause of laughs. The film gives a negative impression of social media, but only in its extreme forms.

Characters in Ingrid Goes West are well written, even supporting characters such as Dan and Ezra are fleshed out and given believable personalities. Ingrid and Taylor take centre stage, and they are both flawed and convincing. The narrative is a bit predictable, but this does not take away from overall enjoyment of the film. Aubrey Plaza delivers a great performance as protagonist Ingrid. Elizabeth Olsen and O’Shea Jackson Jr. are also gold in their roles.

Ingrid Goes West is a very contemporary, satirising view of online connections. Matt Spicer has created a highly amusing film.

Ingrid Goes West is being screened at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2017.