Friday, 23 October 2009

LFF10: Lush and insinuating

There were two London Film Festival premieres on Leicester Square tonight - for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (star Gabourey Sidibe is pictured here) and for the offbeat British road movie Bunny & the Bull, at which the cast and crew were joined by people dressed as fish and crustaceans for some reason. Glamorous documentarian Ondi Timoner was also on hand for the premiere of her film We Live in Public, which was followed by the first (and probably only) party I was invited to during this festival - a relaxed gathering of arty people at an underground bar on Trafalgar Square. Here are some Friday film highlights...

dir Atom Egoyan; with Julianne Moore, Amada Seyfried 09/Canada ****
This lush, insinuating remake of the rather muted French film Nathalie benefits from a much more emotionally charged script and lively, layered performances. It also has director Egoyan's playful skill at exploring images and perceptions ... REVIEW >

dir Heitor Dhalia; with Vincent Cassel, Laura Nieva 09/Brazil ***
Seductive and dark, this beach holiday drama tells its story from the perspective of 14-year-old Filipa (Nieva), who feels like she's a grown-up and gets increasingly frustrated with her friends (both boys and girls) and her parents, none of whom seem to be behaving by the rules of relationships as she sees them. Worst of all is the fact that her father (the superb Cassel) is carrying on with another woman. Of course, this is a story about how children can't possibly understand the subtleties of an adult world, and that's laid on a bit thickly as the film progresses. But it's shot and acted with a sun-kissed glow and earthy honesty that makes it thoroughly watchable.

Bunny & the Bull
dir Paul King; with Edward Hogg, Simon Farnaby 09/UK ***
With its homemade effects and strong emotional kick, this film feels almost like a Michel Gondry movie. Although a deranged sense of humour makes it thoroughly British. It's an odd concoction, but it gets under the skin ... REVIEW >

No comments: