LFF 2018 Highlights Part 2

With another BFI London Film Festival reaching its conclusion tonight, there have been some fantastic films this year. The best films of the first week of the festival can be viewed here. Below are some LFF 2018 highlights from the second half of the festival…

LFF 2018 highlights – Unmissable

If Beale Street Could Talk

Barry Jenkins has created one of the best films of the year with the beguiling If Beale Street Could Talk. The film is powerful viewing. Despite the age of the source material, If Beale Street Could Talk is incredibly resonant today. READ MORE

The Favourite

Yorgos Lanthimos hits the target once more with the brilliant The Favourite. The film is Lanthimos’ most enjoyable to date. The Favourite is a world away from other period romps. The film is hilarious, consuming, and at times touching. READ MORE


László Nemes’ Sunset is a captivating watch. The director’s sophomore feature is an entrancing mystery drama.  Part of the film’s beauty is that it maintains this mystery throughout the duration. Coupled with this ambiguity is a constant sense of unease. READ MORE

LFF 2018 Highlights – The Best Of The Rest

United Skates

Dyana Winkler and Tina Brown’s United Skates is a thoroughly entertaining documentary. The film is a very impressive debut from the directors. What the filmmakers do is tell a story incredibly well; generating interest, emotion and occasionally amusement. READ MORE

The Sisters Brothers

Jacques Audiard’s The Sisters Brothers is a reflective western. By subverting some of the genre tropes, Audiard has created an interesting addition to the field. The tonal shifts that occur during the film are never jarring, but instead enhance the overall picture. READ MORE


Luca Guadagnino’s remake of Suspiria is a sway which builds to a cacophony. It is quite the cinematic experience. The film relies on an understated fear rather than going for the jugular. It is hard not to get caught up in the film’s turbulent rhythm. READ MORE

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Marielle Heller’s Can You Ever Forgive Me? is an enjoyable comedy drama. The film is often funny, and at times moving.  Dialogue is superb, as are the contents of some of the forged letters. READ MORE

The Breaker Upperers

Jackie van Beek and Madeleine Sami’s comedy The Breaker Upperers is a sprightly and amiable affair. The first third is brilliant; the film establishes the main characters swiftly, and there are a lot of laughs to be had. READ MORE

The BFI London Film Festival ran from 10th-21st October 2018.

Film Review: The Breaker Upperers

Jackie van Beek and Madeleine Sami’s comedy The Breaker Upperers is a sprightly and amiable affair. 

Jen and Mel provide something of an usual service. The pair help people break up with their partners, often in outlandish or inventive ways. Jen and Mel will engineer an affair or crash a wedding to help their clients get out of relationships…

Written and directed by and starring Jackie van Beek and Madeleine Sami, The Breaker Upperers offers a great premise, and one that is ripe for laughs. The first third is brilliant; the film establishes the main characters swiftly, and there are a lot of laughs to be had. Inevitably some conflict had to be introduced. The filmmakers deal with this well. As the protagonists are well drawn and have great chemistry, viewers will care about their fates. The narrative develops well, it never feels forced. Pacing in the film is good. Sami and van Beek tell a story that is humorous and not without emotion with change from ninety minutes. 

The Breaker Upperers is a film about friendship, and the focus is firmly on the pair. They are three-dimensional characters; their authenticity is testament to good writing. Even the secondary characters are well drawn and amusing. Performances by van Beek and Somi are great. The pair obviously have a flair for comedy. Casting in the film is also great. Viewers get a feel for the other characters, even if they get little screen time. 

The Breaker Upperers has its own style. Music and costumes are important in the film, and often a cause for amusement. Not all of the jokes work, particularly in the second half. But the film is so amiable it is hard not to smile. 

The Breaker Upperers is being screened at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2018.