Tuesday, 18 October 2011

LFF Day 7: Cast and crew

Tonight saw another parade of actors and filmmakers on the London Film Festival red carpet, including Justin Kurzel and Lucas Pittaway (Snowtown), Lynne Ramsay and Ezra Miller (We Need to Talk About Kevin) and Pablo Giorgelli (Las Acacias). All of these are noted below, plus Return, whose star Linda Cardellini is also in town for the festival...

We Need to Talk About Kevin

dir Lynne Ramsay; with Tilda Swinton, John C Reilly 11/UK *****
Scottish filmmaker Ramsay takes an astonishingly visceral approach to Lionel Shriver's notorious novel. And combined with Swinton's internalised performance, the experience of watching this dark, disturbing film is almost unbearably moving... FULL REVIEW >

dir Justin Kurzel; with Lucas Pittaway, Daniel Henshall 11/Aus ****
Based on a nightmarish true story, this Australian drama starts in a squalid home and descends into pure horror. The film takes the perplexed perspective of 16-year-old Jamie (the astonishing Pittaway), who is abused by a neighbour before being taken under wing by his mother's new boyfriend John (Henshall). But John's hot temper, vengeful urges and violent tone hint at something much nastier under the surface. This is one of Australia's most notorious serial killer cases, but the film approaches it internally, never quite giving us all of the details, so we feel like we're living through the events along with Jamie. And by eerily underplaying everything while keeping us off-balance, the filmmakers make one of the most terrifyingly original movies of the year.

dir Liza Johnson; with Linda Cardellini, Michael Shannon 11/US ***
An edgy sense of realism makes this back-from-war drama surprisingly engaging, even though it's never as original as we hope it will be. But solid, naturalistic performances and an urgent, intimate approach make it worth a look... FULL REVIEW >

Las Acacias
dir Pablo Giorgelli; with German de Silva, Hebe Duarte 11/Arg ****
Artful and engaging, but also extremely slow, this Argentine road movie centres on an intriguing relationship between two strangers: a truck driver and a woman who hitches a long ride with him, bringing her infant baby along. Most of the time they drive along in silence, but over the many hours they can't help but start to take an interest in each other. This gentle thawing is witty and involving, partly because the catalyst is the adorably curious baby who begins to crack the driver's hardened, cynical shell. It's finely shot and edited, and extremely well-observed, but is so low-key that it will probably only appeal to adventurous filmgoers.

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