Our second digest of mini film reviews from the 56th BFI London Film Festival, following our debut offering, which featured 'Frankenweenie', 'Laurence Anyways', and 'Robot And Frank'. This edition takes on the tremendously acclaimed 'Beasts Of The Southern Wild', Cold War-inspired period piece 'Ginger & Rosa', and Mads Mikkelson vehicle 'The Hunt'.
'Beasts Of The Southern Wild' (LFF screenings: 13th, 15.00 + 14th, 18.00)
I had high hopes for 'Beasts Of The Southern Wild'. Perhaps unfeasibly high, considering the crushing disappointment. Obviously indebted to Hurricane Katrina, the film is regularly frustrating as the characters' actions jeopardise their hopes of surviving their adversity.
Almost from the outset I began to second guess each character's motivations, as they reckless endangered both their own lives and others. Frequent comedic moments fail to deflect from the central inadequacies, including unnecessary fantasy elements, while the tender moments prove few and far between. The score and production design impressed but could not save 'Beasts Of The Southern Wild' from its lowly status. Out in UK cinemas on 19th October.
'Ginger & Rosa' (LFF screenings: 13th, 18.00 + 15th, 21.00)
Returning after 2009's 'Rage', British director Sally Potter brings her unique filmmaking skills to the fore once more with Cold War period piece 'Ginger & Rosa', with a surprisingly American heavy cast featuring the likes of Annette Bening, Christina Hendricks and Elle Fanning.
A coming-of-age drama that focusses on a friendship between two young girls (Fanning, and newcomer Alice Englert), 'Ginger & Rosa' never quite delivers the dramatic tension it hopes to. The period setting (and its inherent concerns, amid the Cuban Missile Crisis) works splendidly but the film itself feels somewhat staid by comparison. Out in UK cinemas on 19th October.
'The Hunt' (LFF screenings: 13th, 18.30 + 15th, 15.00)
Mads Mikkelson won the Best Actor award at this year's Cannes Festival for his role as a falsely accused paedophile in Danish-language film, 'The Hunt' - the latest feature from 'Dear Wendy' director Thomas Vinterberg, which will also be released in UK cinemas on 30th November,
'The Hunt' successfully captures the potential hysteria resulting from an accusation of sexual predatory - parallels can be drawn to the current case of Jimmy Saville. However, the laughably amateur investigation into Mikkelson's supposed crimes undermines 'The Hunt', while Mikkelson's own actions seem at odds to his portrayed innocence.
For more info and to book any remaining tickets to these 56th BFI London Film Festival screenings, visit bfi.org.uk/lff.