06 September 2011

My 2011 LoFiFest Hopes

With only 26 days until the start of the 2011 London Film Festival, I'm already starting to get excited about this year's selection of films. The BFI will, apparently, be announcing the full programme tomorrow and they are holding a members' preview on Thursday, hosted by Sandra Hebron, the Artistic Director of Festivals.

We already know that Fernando Meirelles' movie 360 and Terrence Davies' The Deep Blue Sea will feature as the opening and closing night galas, respectively. Both films sound interesting and have a great cast but I had such a fantastic time at last year's opening night gala for Never Let Me Go (and I was very lucky to spot and nab two great tickets, long after the screening was sold out) and I'm not sure that either of this year's selections can compete. And now that I've done an opening night gala, I know that this year, I don't need to go all out to attend (especially for a £30 ticket price).

As I wait to find out the other films that will form part of this year's festival, I've been scouring the "coming soon" section of IMDb's website for films that will be released in or after October and picked out my top five most anticipated movies. These aren't my predictions; just some films I'd like to see and, in some cases, think a Q&A with the director and/or cast would be interesting. In no particular order (with director; key cast members; IMDb plot summary and my notes):

The Ides of March (George Clooney; George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Philip Seymour Hoffman, etc. An idealistic staffer for a newbie presidential candidate gets a crash course on dirty politics during his stint on the campaign trail. Based on the play by Beau Willimon. What's the betting it's too "stagey"? The trailer looks great, though.)

Contagion (Steven Soderbergh; Matt Damon, Kate Winslett, Jude Law. An action-thriller centered on the threat posed by a deadly disease and an international team of doctors contracted by the CDC to deal with the outbreak. OK, so it doesn't sound highly novel but I like the peeps.)

The Adventures of Tintin (Steven Spielberg; Craig, Pegg, Serkis, Bell. Tintin and his friends discover directions to a sunken ship commanded by Capt. Haddock's ancestor and go off on a treasure hunt. I really hope this is good, but it could be really bad...)

Anonymous (Roland Emmerich; Rhys Ifans, Rafe Spall, Richardsons Major and Minor (playing Elizabeth I, young and old). A political thriller advancing the theory that it was in fact Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford who penned Shakespeare's plays; set against the backdrop of the succession of Queen Elizabeth I, and the Essex Rebellion against her. OK, so it doesn't sound highly novel but I can't resist a good Tudor intrigue.)

We Need To Talk about Kevin (Lynne Ramsay; Tilda Swinton.The mother of a teenage boy who went on a high-school killing spree tries to deal with her grief--and feelings of responsibility for her child's actions--by writing to her estranged husband. Based on Lionel Shriver's book of the same name (which I liked). This movie made a pretty big splash at Cannes this year too.)

Token Clive Owen hope: The Intruders. The trailer doesn't look very promising but Clive's so hot when he's being all papa-grizzly and it's either this or Killer Elite...

Also of note:

After last year's botched booking-by-post fiasco (which seems to have inspired the ticket process for the 2012 Olympics), I'm going back to online booking this year. For my advice on how to get tickets for your favourite LoFiFest films, take a look at this blog post.

Edit: This year's programme is now online here. Four of my top five are indeed featured (along with many more that didn't quite make my shortlist).
Another edit: Actually, only three out of five are there as I took out another Clooney-fest, The Descendants, at the last minute.

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