Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Get the Lowdown on the BFI Film Festival!


London plays host to the British Film Institute (BFI) Film Festival every year. And every year the pick of the so-called ‘best’ new films to come out recently get special screenings as the biggest names in Hollywood descend on the English capital for a two-week movies extravaganza, which is currently in full flow. 
Week one saw the likes of Jade Law, Seth Rogen, Ralph Fiennes and Joseph Gordon-Levitt turn out to tread the red carpet. The premiere of Law’s new movie 360 got proceedings off and running, but of all the new films 2011 has yielded so far, this is not one that is likely to live long in the memory. That’s because the plot – a romantic drama involving 10 intertwined love stories – has, quite frankly, been done to death in recent years, although Anthony Hopkins does at least do his best to bring a touch of class to the film. 
Law may have stolen the limelight on the opening night, but it’s the combination of Rogen and Gordon-Levitt in 50/50 that has so far impressed most. The duo have been receiving gushing praise for their roles in the story of one man’s struggle to come to terms and stay alive after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. It’s poignant yet funny and fantastically uplifting. There are some who even think it could do well when the Golden Globes and Oscars are dished out. 
 And so we arrive at week two of the BFI Film Festival and all eyes are now on George Clooney and Tilda Swinton over the coming days when The Ides of March and We Need to Talk About Kevin respectively get an airing.
Clooney directs and stars in The Ides of March, a political thriller packed with intrigue lies and backstabbing. Clooney may be relatively new to this directing lark, but he seems to have got the hang of it already, while his acting skills remain as sharp as ever.
As for Swinton, her performance in We Need to Talk About Kevin, Lionel Shriver's award-winning novel, is so compelling that many are tipping it to be crowned best film at the BFI London Film Festival Awards on October 26, which is the climax of the cinematic festival. John C Reilly also shows his versatility as he and Swinton play parents with a troublesome relationship with their son, who embarks on a killing spree in a high school.

Battling it out with We Need to Talk About Kevin in the best film category is 360, The Deep Blue Sea, The Kid With A Bike and the much-anticipated Shame, the story of a 30-year-old addicted to sex from British director Steve McQueen. It’ll be a close call between Shame and We Need to Talk About Kevin for the coveted title, but the latter shades it for us.
Two people who already know they’ll walk away with silverware at the BFI Film Festival are David Cronenberg and Fiennes as the duo will both receive the BFI Fellowship for their sterling service to the film industry down the years. Cronenberg directed films such as the The Fly and History Of Violence, while Fiennes has appeared in a host of successful movies, including Schindler’s List and several of the Harry Potter franchise.

- This has been a special guest post by Vue.