Hannah’s Picks From The London Film Festival Sizzle Reel

The BFI 55th Annual London Film Festival is drawing nearer. Festival advent kicked off today with a presentation and a clip reel at the Leicester Square Odeon.

Those of you who live, work or play in the area will probably know that the building is currently undergoing renovation, and is currently covered in scaffolding and men in day-glo jackets, so there was an undertone of crashing and banging to the morning’s revelries. Hopefully they’re planning to take a very long tea break through October.

The full programme for the festival is now online for you to view at your own discretion. I’m going to pick out the films from the clip reel that stood out as especially interesting.

We’ll start at the bottom. Asshole is instantly best title of this year’s LFF. The director’s name is Q (just Q) and is based in Kolkata, and the film is about an extremely angry working-class man living in an apartment bought for him by his mother’s wealthy lover. From the 30 seconds I saw the film looks to be extremely visually creative and seems to have a great lead actor.

Next up is Ides of March, a film I’ve been looking forward to for some time now. I wasn’t disappointed by the clip we saw, which showcased a snippet of the excellent script and some great on-screen chemistry between lead actors George Clooney and Ryan Gosling. The film is based on the play Farragut North by Beau Willimon, and tells the story of a highly intelligent, if overly idealistic, staffer for a presidential candidate who learns the hard way about the bad, bad world of politics.

Ralph “It’s pronounced Rafe” Fiennes’ modern interpretation of Coriolanus also looks intriguing. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem that Fiennes had managed to regrow his hair since playing Lord Voldemort. I like the Shakespeare play, it’s very gory and full of those big impressive speeches that Shakespeare was so good at…

…or was he? Roland Emmerich is asking this question with his new film Anonymous, a “but what if Shakespeare didn’t really write any of those plays?” thriller. £10 on Stratford-Upon-Avon getting destroyed by a tidal wave/tornado/ice age/earthquake (delete as appropriate).

John C. Reilly seems to be owning this year’s festival; he’s appearing in Lynne Ramsay’s We Need To Talk About Kevin, in Roman Polanski’s Carnage and in the offbeat comedy Terri, and it looks like he gives a good turn in all of them. I just wish he’d do another musical; I’ve never got over him singing Mr Cellophane in Chicago. Sing, my sweet songbird Reilly. Sing.*

I’ll hopefully be on the front lines at this year’s London Film Festival, filing updates and many, many reviews. If you’d like to join me, details on how to book are online at the BFI website.

*Brendon’s note: Reilly sings twice – once onscreen, once off – in Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini’s superb The Extra Man. There’s one shot of him with a hood ornament in his hand that’s worth the price of the (region free!) Blu-ray just by itself.

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