Saturday, 12 October 2013

LFF 3: London goes starry

The red carpet parade continues this weekend at the 57th London Film Festival. Running the gauntlet tonight at the festival are Julia Jouis-Dreyfus and Nicole Holofcener with their film Enough Said; Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, Craig Roberts, Yasmin Paige and Richard Ayoade with The Double; and Charlie Cox, Jodie Whittaker and Christian Cooke with Hello Carter; plus Japanese maestro Hirokazu Kore-eda, French filmmaker Cedric Klapisch and Norwegian actor Pal Sverre-Hagen (of Oscar-nominee Kon-Tiki, below). Here are some of today's film highlights...

Starred Up
dir David Mackenzie; with Jack O'Connell (pictured), Ben Mendelsohn 13/UK ***.
Even though this film deploys just about every cliche in the prison-thriller genre, it continually twists its story in more personal directions, which allows the fine cast to create vividly intense characters. So although the plot has some nagging holes in it, we are gripped to the action unfolding on-screen... [review coming soon]

dir Alexander Payne; with Bruce Dern, Will Forte 13/US ****
Harking back to his own About Schmidt as well as David Lynch's The Straight Story, Payne gently explores Middle America with equal doses of spiky observational wit and soft-hearted sentiment. With bristlingly detailed performances, the film worms its way under our skin as it reveals some awkward truths about family connections... [review coming soon]

Camille Claudel: 1915
dir Bruno Dumont; with Juliette Binoche, Jean-Luc Vincent 13/Fr ****
Bruno Dumont continues his provocative exploration of religion in society with this true story, which plays out like a sequel to the 1988 biopic. Like the film itself, Binoche plays the title role in a stripped down, unadorned way that forces us to listen to her words and look beneath the surface... [review coming soon]

Hello Carter
dir Anthony Wilcox; with Charlie Cox, Jodie Whittaker 13/UK **
With its charming tone and a likeable cast, this warm British comedy draws us into a gentle story about a young guy trying to get his life back in track. But about halfway in the script pivots suddenly into into implausibility, leaving the characters looking so idiotic that we cease to care what happens to them... [review coming soon]

dir Joachim Ronning, Espen Sandberg; with Pal Sverre-Hagen, Anders Baasmo Christiansen 12/Nor ***.
The astonishing story of a man who risked his life to prove a scientific theory, this biopic has a strong sense of passion and tenacity that makes it utterly riveting. It's also a staggeringly well-made film, grounded both in the vivid characters and a skilful attention to detail... FULL REVIEW >

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