Words: Saam Das
I didn't get press accreditation to this year's London Film Festival. Then again, I didn't apply. They did, however, kindly invite me to some fancy press do but I couldn't attend that either and you could read about it at Ultraculture, if you fancy. But that's enough of this self-indulgent rubbish, LET THE RECOMMENDATIONS BEGIN.
LFF: "A provocative and unsettling documentary about the impact of social media."
This is a film that has been heavily discussed yet one whose discussion almost solely revolves around how to review the film without giving anything away. The point being, this is a film where the less you know, the better.
'Let Me In'
LFF: "A shy young boy realises his new friend might not be the innocent she first appears in this atmospheric and ultra-modern vampire tale." (All quotes nicked from the LFF website previews).
A vampire film with a difference. The initial backlash to Matt Reeves' remake of 'Let The Right One In' seems to have died down. In fact, the 12 critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes are all positive.
LFF: "A sophisticated psychological thriller set in the milieu of the New York Ballet."
This is Darren Aronofsky's new project. Need I say more?
LFF: "Olivier Assayas takes on the life and crimes of notorious '70s terrorist and headline-grabber Carlos (aka 'the Jackal') in a fast-paced modern epic."
Apparently, this is over five hours long, having originally been produced as a mini-series. So more of a test of endurance than a film but looks like it could be worth it.
LFF: "The debut feature from Richard Ayoade is an affecting coming of age comedy that feels genuinely original, made by someone who's clearly in love with cinema."
You probably know Richard Ayoade from 'The Mighty Boosh' or god forbid, 'The IT Crowd'. Picked up by The Weinstein Company at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier in the month but no trailer just yet I'm afraid.
LFF: "Gripping, adventurous film-making and headline grabbing drama from Oscar-winning Danny Boyle."
With Simon Beaufoy and James Franco involved as well as Danny Boyle, I have high hopes for this film based on a true story. Which sounds like a "what-not-to-do-when-going-hiking" guide. I guess "spoilers" if you click that link.
LFF: "A powerful contemporary drama set in Barcelona's underworld, with an award-winning performance from Javier Bardem."
I've nowhere near as familiar with Spanish director Alejandro González Iñárritu's work as I should be but this Cannes favourite seems like a good place to continue my education. And well, there's Javier Bardem.
'Never Let Me Go'
LFF: "A haunting story of love and loss based on Kazuo Ishiguro's best-selling novel."
The opening film of the festival but also one that appears to benefit from knowing as little as possible prior to viewing. Features an impressive cast including Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield. And Keira Knightley.
'The King's Speech'
LFF: "The fascinating story of the relationship between King George VI and an unconventional Australian speech therapist."
Already being talked up as a Best Picture nominee at next year's Oscars, this is another film based upon a true story. Features a strong cast with Firth, Rush, Bonham-Carter, Pearce, Spall, and Gambon all piling in.
'The Kids Are All Right'
LFF: "Julianne Moore and Annette Benning star in a smart and funny story of modern family life."
Modern family life here meaning lesbian parents and their artificially inseminated son and daughter. IT'S POLITICAL CORRECTNESS GONE MAD! The buzz from Sundance has converted, with 96% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Tickets are available to everyone from today. For more details, head to the LFF website.
Oh and read these festival picks too: Your Turn Heather, Ultraculture, The Incredible Suit.