London Film Festival: 2011 Top 8 Must-See Films

on Monday, September 26, 2011
Words: Saam Das

The 2011 London Film Festival is but a mere blip away and today sees the opening of public booking of tickets at 9.30am on the BFI website. I'm sure you've already planned your purchases but I've scoured eight different outlets from The Guardian to your average joe blogger to compile a ("crowdsourced") list of the Top 8 Must-See films at the London Film Festival 2011. Just in case you've missed anything.

I don't normally like the use of "must-see" - although I can't really pin down why that is - but with almost every single one of the eight outlets recommending each of the following films, I guess the following eight films are worth the tag. Thanks to The Incredible Suit, Holy Moly, Dog Ate My Wookie, Cine-Vue, Live For Films, The Guardian, The Shiznit, and UltraCulture for their inadvertent participation.

'Alps' (recommended by all eight outlets)

Turns out I wasn't the only one to be bowled over by a particularly funny clip from 'Alps' at the LFF press launch. Here's what I said after: "The director of the cult oddity 'Dogtooth' is back with another somewhat bizarre offering. I suspect people will love or hate 'Alps' and I can't honestly predict which camp I'll be in."

'Shame' (recommended by all eight outlets)

[Bizarrely, no trailer available]

I must admit to being a little surprised that Steve McQueen's second feature is so highly anticipated. I was pretty disappointed by 'Hunger' but 'Shame' has been very wel received on the festival scene. Xan Brooks of The Guardian describes it as such: "a tragic boulevard of broken dreams, superbly played by Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan as the damaged siblings drifting around a sterile, anonymous Manhattan."

'We Need To Talk About Kevin' (recommended by all eight outlets)

This is one I'm definitely onboard. Lynne Ramsay's dark adaptation of a Lionel Shriver bestseller sees Tilda Swinton struggle to cope with her disturbed son, Ezra Miller. Have heard little mention of the Jonny Greenwood score but considering the Radiohead man's past efforts, I'm expecting a great deal.

'A Dangerous Method' (recommended by seven outlets)

A film about Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud doesn't necessarily spark excitement. Yet as Neil of The Incredible Suit more appropriately says: "if you don't want to see a new David Cronenberg film starring Michael Fassbender, Viggo Mortensen and Vincent Cassel then you can get out right now. Go on, get out. And don't come back."

'The Artist' (recommended by seven outlets)

I'm not quite so convinced but like The Shiznit says: "judging from Cannes' collective jizz earlier this year, this homage to 1920s silent film will be quite the motion picture." I'm hearing plenty of awards talk already.

'The Ides Of March' (recommended by seven outlets)

Like Holy Moly say, this is "the one everyone has been going bonkers for". Count me in. "George Clooney directs and appears alongside Ryan Gosling, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti and Evan Rachel Wood in an exploration of dirty politics on the campaign trail."

'Carnage' (recommended by six outlets)

Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, Jodie Foster, and John C Reilly all star in this Roman Polanski adaptation of the play, 'God Of Carnage'. So it's hardly surprising that people are lapping this up.

'The Descendants' (recommended by six outlets)

Alexander Payne's back catalogue includes 'Election' and 'Sideways' although I think both those films look better than this tragicomic offering starring George Clooney as a father who has to deal with his young daughters. Maybe I missed all the good bits in the trailer because it's being touted as one of the must-see films of the festival.

If you didn't catch my other LFF recommendations then I also wrote about 'Terri', 'Sarah Palin - You Betcha!, 'Tales Of The Night' and 'W.E'. And now I've picked my press badge up, hopefully I'll be able to bring you reviews of each of those films and more.

Public booking for tickets to London Film Festival screenings begins at 9.30am at

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