LFF 2017 Highlights Part 2

With the BFI London Film Festival drawing to a close this evening, it has been another year of some very good films, and a few excellent ones. The best films of the first week of the festival can be viewed here. Below are some LFF 2017 highlights from the second half of the festival…

LFF 2017 Highlights – Unmissable

You Were Never Really Here

Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here is tense, black, and redemptive. It is anxiety-inducing, gripping filmmaking. amplifies conventions of a psychological thriller, combining these with a revenge flick. READ MORE

Brawl in Cell Block 99

S. Craig Zahler’s Brawl in Cell Block 99 is a brutal action thriller with a great central performance from Vince Vaughn. It is certainly not a film for the faint of heart. The violence is exceptional. It is wince-inducing, and sometimes harrowing. READ MORE

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Martin McDonagh’s black comedy drama Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is well-written, well performed, and thoroughly engaging. The cast have an excellent screenplay to work with. The dialogue is great, and always appears natural. READ MORE

LFF 2017 Highlights – The Best of the Rest

The Shape of Water

Guillermo del Toro’s sci-fi fairy tale The Shape of Water is at times beguiling, at times surprising, and a joy to watch. From the first shot of the film, spectacle is almost assured. And the film does not disappoint in this respect. READ MORE

The Killing of a Sacred Deer

The Killing of a Sacred Deer is a macabre tale which offers the requisite tension and horror. The film is reminiscent of an Edgar Allan Poe story, albeit one rendered in a very contemporary fashion. Lanthimos’ skill here is the ramping of the tension, leading to some awful realisations. READ MORE

The Florida Project

Sean Baker’s The Florida Project is a bittersweet drama. The film is a great exploration of childhood in challenging circumstances. It is frequently humorous, without detracting its the poignancy. READ MORE


Directed by John Lynch Carroll and starring Harry Dean Stanton in his second and final leading role, Lucky feels like an ode to character actors. Lucky is highly amusing and will give pause for thought. READ MORE

The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales

Patrick Imbert and Benjamin Renner’s The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales is a collection of most amusing stories. Each of the three stories is a neat length; long enough to feature a decent narrative, but short enough to feel sprightly. READ MORE


Director and co-writer Joachim Trier’s Thelma is an engaging psychological thriller. The film offers a strong element of mystery. It straddles the uncanny; for a significant period it is unclear whether the strange occurrences are supernatural, or whether there is a rational explanation. READ MORE

Princess Cyd

Stephen Cone’s Princess Cyd is an alluring character study. What could have been a derivative teenage drama turns into something much more textured and rewarding. READ MORE

The BFI London Film Festival ran from 4th to 15th October 2017.

Film Review: The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales

Patrick Imbert and Benjamin Renner’s The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales is a collection of most amusing stories. The film should please viewers of all ages.

On a farm, a trio of animals are asked to deliver a baby by a stork. A fox attempts to show how frightening he is. Finally, a duck thinks he must impersonate Father Christmas after an unfortunate incident…

Directed by Patrick Imbert and Benjamin Renner (based on two of Renner’s comics), The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales (Le Grand Méchant Renard et Autres Contes) comprises of three vignettes, tied together by the framing device of a stage play. Some of the characters appear in the three stories, and all are connected by the farm setting. Each story is a neat length; long enough to feature a decent narrative, but short enough to feel sprightly.

The first of the stories is about animals who must deliver a baby on behalf of a stork. The story balances the energy of a zany cartoon with a protagonist viewers can empathise with. The middle story is rather sweet, despite a premise that might seem humorously macabre. The final tale is a Christmas-set fable about Father Christmas. The second story is the strongest of the set, however all three are enjoyable.

The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales is frequently funny. The humour ranges from slapstick to witty exchanges, but there is something for all ages. Most of the time, the comedy hits the mark. The film also succeeds in eliciting warmth from viewers; the writing is good enough to make audiences care about the characters in each story, despite their brief length. The animation has a style distinct to the big Hollywood studios. It is perhaps more rudimentary, but also feels more personal.

The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales is a very entertaining watch. Children should love it, and adults will also be charmed by the film.

The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales is being screened at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2017.