A tale of friendship, betrayal and dealing with the world around us, Sally Potter’s “Ginger and Rosa”, which screened at this year’s London Film Festival, stars Elle Fanning and Alice Englert as the titular characters. Best friends from birth, their lives begin to take different paths against the backdrop of early 1960s Britain, the Cuban Missile Crisis and a burgeoning protest scene against the nuclear bomb.
London Film Fest REVIEW: Elle Fanning and Alice Englert shine, but “Ginger and Rosa” is let down by an easy metaphor
“We Need to Talk About Kevin” wins Best Film, Candese Reid of “Junkhearts” Best Newcomer at London Film Fest
Troubled teens were the big winners of the 55th annual BFI London Film Festival, which announced its winners this evening. “We Need to Talk About Kevin”, Lynne Ramsay’s searing vision following the mother of a homicidal teenager, won Best Film. Tilda Swinton, an Oscar hopeful, plays the mother while rising star Ezra Miller gives an unforgettable performance as the teenage killer.
Said Jury chairman John Madden: “This year’s shortlist for best film comprises work that is outstanding in terms of its originality and its stylistic reach. It is an international group, one united by a common sense of unflinching human enquiry and we werestruck by the sheer panache displayed by these great storytellers. In the end, we were simply bowled over by one film, a sublime, uncompromising tale of the torment that can stand in the place of love. We Need to Talk About Kevin is made with the kind of singular vision that links great directors across all the traditions of cinema.”
The Best British Newcomer Award, which saw nominees that also included newcomer Aimee Kelly for her role as a gang member in “Sket”, and co-stars Chris New and Tom Cullen of “Weekend”, went to Candese Reid of “Junkhearts.” The 19 year old makes her screen debut in the indie psychological thriller alongside Eddie Marsen, Tom Sturridge, Romola Garai and “Attack the Block” breakout star John Boyega. She plays Lynette, girlfriend to Sturridge’s drug dealer. When he needs a new base for his operations, she targets Frank (Marsen). The bond that forms between them becomes a catalyst for Lynette to attempt to break away from her destructive and dangerous lifestyle. Best British Newcomer jury chairman Andy Harries said, “Candese is a fresh, brilliant and exciting new talent. Every moment she was onscreen was compelling.”
First time director Pablo Giorgelli took home the Sutherland Award – for the most original and imaginative feature debut – for “Las Acacias” while “Into the Abyss”, from celebrated director Werner Herzog, won the Grierson Award for Best Documentary.
Michael Fassbender’s year is ending on a high note, with the release of Shame, director Steve McQueen’s critically acclaimed feature that focuses on a single man’s addiction to sex, and his inability to cope with intimacy or love. His world begins to crumble when his needy and troubled younger sister (played by Carey Mulligan) turns up and moves into his apartment.
Shame screened at London Film Festival this past weekend, and was by all accounts an intense and powerful feature, with the Guardian calling it “fluid, rigorous, serious cinema; the best kind of adult movie” and THR commending Mulligan for being “terrific in this unexpected role of a deeply wounded and troubled soul.”
This writer chose to see 50/50 at LFF instead, one of our most anticipated films for fall, but Shame is released in the UK in early January, with a states-side release set for 2 December.
Watch the trailer below, courtesy of the Guardian.
Andrea Arnold’s retelling of the classic story Wuthering Heights has been one of the most anticipated films of the year. It premièred at this year’s Venice Film Festival to mixed reviews, with The Playlist calling it “incredibly powerful, extremely sexy … and a truly remarkable reinvention of a text”, but Variety complained about the “languorous repetitiveness” and the Guardian finding a “problem [with] the faint stiffness and self-consciousness of the acting and the crucial lack of chemistry.”
Starring a cast of unknown talent – Solomon Glave, James Howson, Shannon Beer and Kaya Scodelario – the first teaser trailer has today been released for this adaptation, and this writer’s opinion so far falls in line with the latter reviews above. The setting looks impressive (a feature of Arnold’s work is that she often allows the setting to become a character, and it looks like nothing has changed here), as does the cinematography … but it all looks rather boring.
No doubt much of the savage action that has been hinted at in several reviews will be kept away from these trailers, but we look forward to viewing the full film – it will be showing at the London FIlm Festival before wide release in the UK on November 11th.
Starring Rebecca Hall and Dominic West, and directed by Nick Murphy, the film follows Florence Cathcart (Hall), an author and paranormal sceptic who is hired by the headmaster of a boys’ boarding school (West) to investigate reports of a haunting. Also featuring Oscar nominee Imelda Staunton, this first trailer leaves us suitably terrified, but also wondering if we haven’t seen this storyline before – hauntings in old houses in the middle-of-nowhere-Britain is hardly something new.
Still, Hall is a fantastic actress, with strong performances in awards favourites such as The Town and Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and with The Awakening showing at London Film Festvial this October, before wide release on November 11th, we’re hoping this will do well over the Hallowe’en season.