10 best London Film Festival films to look forward to this year

Now that the 61st BFI London Film Festival has ended, we picked ’10 best films’ to look forward this year.

1. Thoroughbreds

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A dark comedy with a twist about two young privilege girls in the affluent suburbs of Connecticut rekindling their friendship after years growing apart. Cory Finley‘s directorial debut is a terrific and confident first feature, starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Olivia Cooke, late Anton Yelchin, Paul Sparks and Francie Swift. It is a stunning work with brilliant actors, and strong visuals accompanied by Erik Friedlander’s percussive soundtrack that works a treat. Read our review here.

Release dates:

  • October 9, 2017 (UK, London Film Festival)
  • March 8, 2018 (UK, theatre release)

2. The Meyerowitz Stories

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Baumbach’s  new work is warm and bittersweet. It is a family comedy about an elderly sculptor Harold (played by Dustin Hoffman) and his three children from different marriages: Danny (Adam Sandler), Matthew (Ben Stiller) and Jean (Elizabeth Marvel). Every child of this family is damaged in his own way as the father neglected all of them. Still, all of Harold’s children are trying to reconcile themselves with Harold’s imperfect fathering and approaching death, always being there for him no matter how childish or inapproriate his behaviour is. Hoffman gives his funniest, most confident performance in years, Adam Sandler is brilliant, at last playing a character that truly suits him and his talent, and Ben Stiller arguably steals  the show.

Already available on Netflix.

3.You were never really here

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A psychological drama from Lynne Ramsay starring Joaquin Phoenix is adapted from the 2013 story by Jonathan Ames.  Joe (Joaquin Phoenix) is a former soldier who is now working as a private security, living with his elderly mother in his childhood house where he was severely truamatised as a kid. Memories of his own abuse haunt him, so when he is given a case to recover a teenage girl Nina, lured into a sex-trafficking ring, his life takes an even more dramatic turn. It is a stunning work by both the film director and the lead actor, and arguably one of the best performances by Joaquin Phoenix.

Release dates:

  • May 27, 2017 (Cannes)
  • October 14,2017 (UK)
  • February 23, 2018 (United States)

4. Three billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

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One year after Mildred’s (McDormand) teenaged daughter was murdered, police still has no leads, so Mildfred decides to take matter into her own hands, renting three billboards to shame the Ebbing police chief to action. Frances McDormand gives a powerful performance in  McDonagh‘s virtuously written and directed modern-day western with a comic small-town portrait, never letting viewers off the hook.

Release dates:

  • September 4, 2017 (Venice Film Festival)
  • October 15, 2017 (UK, London Film Festival)
  • January 12, 2018 (UK, theatre release)

5. Loveless

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The 61st BFI London Film Festival winner Andrei Zvyagintsev‘s mysterious and terrifying drama ‘Loveless‘ is a story of modern Russia but also a story that could have happened in any country. Initially it is a portrait of a failed marriage of Boris (Alexei Rozin), who is still sharing apartment with his wife Zhenya (Maryana Spivak), he constantly quarrels with. United in the mutual loathing, they have to face a real tragedy when their 12-year-old unhappy son Alyosha (Matvey Novikov) disappears. Another brilliant work by Zvyagintsev with powerful actors’ performances and hypnotic, mysterious atmosphere.

Release dates:

  • October 6,2017 (UK)
  • November 10, 2018 (UK/ theatre release)

6.Downsizing

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Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig star as a couple shrinking oneself to live more economically in this sci-fi comedy-drama. Even though, shrinking does bring economical freedom and escape from everyday stress, it still comes with a  price.

Release dates:

  • August 30, 2017 (Venice Film Festival)
  • October 13, 2017 (UK, London Film Festival)
  • January 19, 2018 (UK, theatre release)

7. Ghost Stories

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If a horror movie can be delightful, then ‘Ghost Stories‘ by Andy Nyman is definilety is. ‘Ghost Stories’ is an anthology of scary supernatural tales. The film’s writer-directors Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson have adapted it from their theatre show that was a huge success. Nyman plays the lead character Professor Philip Goodman, a TV celebrity who is driven to expose frauds of the ‘paranormal show business’. Growing up Phillip worshiped a 70s TV star debunker who vanished at the peak of his TV career, so when the presumed dead man contacts Philip out of the blue, asking him to to reopen three of his cases that wouldn’t add up to a rational explanation, the story takes a new turn. It is a very confident picture and an emotional chute-the-chute with a tremendous atmosphere, complemented by very strong performances by Nyman himself, Martin Freeman, Alex Lawther and Paul Whitehouse.

Release dates:

  • October 5, 2017 (UK, London Film Festival)

8. Breathe

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Andy Serkis‘s first feature and the London Film Festival’s opening film tells a true story of Robin Cavendish (Andrew Garfield), a young polio victim who becomes a British advocate for the disabled. His family and friends come to support him, including his wife (Claire Foy), her twin brothers (Tom Hollander) and the inventor of Cavendish’s  wheelchair (Hugh Bonneville). It is a valuable and touching bittersweet story with great actors and strong visuals.

Release dates:

  • October 4, 2017 (UK, London Film Festival)
  • October 27, 2017 (UK, theatre release)

9. Battle of the Sexes

Эмма Стоун и Стив Карелл в фильме "Битва Полов"
Эмма Стоун и Стив Карелл в фильме “Битва Полов”

The film tells a story of a famous tennis match between Billie Jean King (Emma Stone), women’s world champion, and Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell), ex-men’s champion, that was billed as the Battle of the Sexes and became one of the most watched televised sports events of all time, reaching 90 million viewers around the world. For more information click here.

Release dates:

  • October 7, 2017 (UK, London Film Festival)
  • November 24, 2017 (UK, theatre release)

10. The Killing of a Sacred Deer

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Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer is a psychological horror film, starring Colin Farrell and Nicole KidmanColin Farrell plays Steven Murphy, a cardiovascular specialist with a successful family life. Steven begins looking out for a troubled teenager  boy Martin (Barry Keoghan), hanging out together, giving him inappropriately expensive presents and even inviting Martin home for supper. All that causes chaos in Murphy’s family life, as the boy starts threatening Stveen.

Release dates:

  • October 12, 2017 (UK, London Film Festival)
  • November 3, 2017 (UK, theatre release)

 

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