Tuesday, 20 October 2009

LFF7: Out in the square

The red carpet in Leicester Square was busy again tonight, as rising star Carey Mulligan came out with costars Dominic Cooper and Emma Thompson to support her breakout film An Education for its London Film Festival premiere. Also strolling through the clamouring fans were Kerry Fox and director Hans-Christian Schmid (here with Storm); Anthony LaPaglia and director Robert Connelly (with Balibo); and Julie Sokolowski and director Bruno Dumont (with Hadewijch). Here are some film highlights from today...

dir Hans-Christian Schmid; with Kerry Fox, Anamaria Marinca 09/Ned ****
An intriguing legal thriller, this tense Euro-drama takes a female perspective as it examines a horrific situation. It's a bit talky and office-bound, but is full of relevance as it looks at the thorny issue of justice in a politically charged situation ... REVIEW >

dir Bruno Dumont; with Julie Sokolowski, Yassine Salime 09/Fr ****
Instead of his usual confrontational style, Dumont infuses this reflective drama with raw tenderness. But he's as provocative as always. Which is probably unavoidable with a film about religious devotion (the title refers to a 13th century Flemish poet) ... REVIEW >

The Milk of Sorrow
dir Claudia Llosa; with Magaly Solier, Susi Sanchez 09/Peru ****
The Golden Bear-winner at Berlin, this gorgeous Peruvian drama takes us into the soul of a culture for a story with mythical roots, and yet it's so beautifully told that we can't help but identify and reach out to the central character, a young woman grappling with her past, played with raw authenticity by Solier. Director Llosa also draws on expert photography and editing to capture the rhythms of life - both in the setting and within the characters. Involving and strongly moving.

Mic Macs
dir Jean-Pierre Jeunet; with Dany Boon, Andre Dussollier 09/Fr ***
Back in Amelie mode, Jeunet creates this playful adventure with his usual expert filmmaking--a strong, quirky sense of people and places that includes lots of telling, quirky details. The plot centres on a young man (Boon) trying to make sense of his past, which has been forever changed because of two rival arms dealers. So why not try to get them fighting with each other? With the help of a gang of misfits and a pile of rubbish, their caper is increasingly madcap - silly slapstick mixed with just a whiff of a serious theme. Thoroughly entertaining, if a little silly.

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