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: Loving Vincent

Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman’s Loving Vincent is something special. The technical achievement is backed up by an engaging narrative.

Armand is asked by his father to deliver a letter. The letter was written by the recently deceased Vincent Van Gogh, and is addressed to his brother. Armand embarks on a journey to find his recipient…

Loving Vincent offers something different: a completely hand drawn film, painted in the style of subject Van Gogh. There is certainly an element of spectacle to this; the film is a visual feast. However, there is also substance to the narrative. 

The film focuses on final days of the artist. The directors use the device of man trying to deliver a letter from the late artist to shed light on the days leading up to the death of Van Gogh. The narrative functions as a something of a mystery, with key players interviewed almost as witnesses in a whodunit. For those unaware of the details of the artist’s demise, this is an entertaining and informative way of telling the tale. Viewers meet a variety of characters who had interactions with the artist. The film paints a portrait of his illness, his personality and attitude towards his work. 

The animation is wonderful. Particularly effective are the black and white flashback sequences. The level of artistry on display is most impressive. Clint Mansell’s score provides a fitting accompaniment to the visuals. Some of the set ups will be recognised by those familiar with the artist’s work. Another great aspect to the film is how the characters have been inspired by those from Van Gogh’s work, as the end credits reveal. Douglas Booth is decent as Armand. Helen McCrory and Saoirse Ronan are also memorable. 

Loving Vincent is a must see for those with even a passing interest in Van Gogh’s work. The film is very entertaining even for those with no interest in the artist, thanks to great animation and good storytelling. 

Loving Vincent has its UK premiere at the BFI London Film Festival on 9th  October 2017, when it will be simultaneously broadcast to over 180 cinemas across the UK. The film will be released on 13th October 2017.