Thursday, 14 October 2010

LFF2: Never let me in

Andrew Garfield, Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightley hit the red carpet last night for the opening film Never Let Me G0, a fine display of rising-star British talent. Then today we had the first full day of the 54th London Film Festival, with screenings both in Leicester Square and at BFI Southbank. Tonight's big premiere was for Let Me In, attended by director Matt Reeves and stars Chloe Grace Moretz and Kodi-Smit McPhee. Here are some films showing at the festival tomorrow...

The Arbor
dir Clio Barnard; with Manjinder Virk, Neil Dudgeon 10/UK *****
With this bracingly original debut feature, artist Barnard creates one of the most involving and moving documentaries in memory. Stylistically mixing filmmaking approaches, she engulfs us in a fiercely inventive movie experience... MORE >

In Our Name
dir-scr Brian Welsh; with Joanne Froggatt, Mel Raido 10/UK ***
This sharply well-made film explores the troubled experiences of soldiers trying to reintegrate into life back home after a tour of duty. It's harsh and realistic for the most part, but starts to feel a little pushy in the final act. Fortunately, the cast is hugely dedicated to their roles, investing them with authenticity and dark emotional resonance, so even when the story becomes a little too orchestrated, the film still holds our attention. Filmmaker Welsh should be commended for highlighting such a serious issue with such bracing honesty.

dir Tony Goldwyn; with Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell 10/US ***
This true story is told with emotion and skill, giving Swank another terrific lead role to sink her skilled teeth into. As a woman desperate to help prove her brother's innocence, she gives us a lot to think about. Rockwell is superb as the shattered convict, and there's fine support from Minnie Driver, Peter Gallagher, Juliette Lewis (best she's been in years), Clea DuVall and Melissa Leo. But even with all of the talent behind and in front of the camera, there's a nagging feeling that this is really a TV movie. Although it's the kind that would sweep the Emmys.

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