BFI Film Festival: Preview 1

 

The BFI London Film Festival is once again upon us for 2017, running from 4th till the 15th of September. Judging by the number and scale of some of the films screened, this year proves to be quite a packed one with highly curated big releases, as well as the latest in cutting edge thought provoking cinema and documentary film telling. Here at the 405 we have picked out some of the highlights of this year's screenings. Starting with the big ones:

The Opening Night Gala is taken over Andy Serkis, known to most folk as the man behind Gollum in Lord of The Rings and his directorial debut Breathe. It looks impressive from the trailer, hinting at an even more impressive budget. The film is based on true story starring Andrew Garfield and Clare Foy about an inspirational love story around disability and the triumph of the human spirit.

The much anticipated Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri by unconventional director Martin McDonagh (In Bruges) is the Closing Night Gala. Starring a formidable Frances McDormand as the foul-mouthed, tough-as-nails Mildred Hayes who after the investigation into her daughter's murder dies down, she provokes local police department with a series of billboards messages about their inability outside her hometown of Ebbing, Missouri.

Another art imitates life, filmic effort with Emma Stone, Steve Carrell comedic effort Battle of the Sexes, about tennis gender wars between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.

Luca Guadagnino's (I Am Love) Call Me By Your Name, looks very promising with its immensely beautiful trailer. Set in Northern Italy, starring Armie Hammer; the film is an adaptation of Andre Aciman's coming-of-age novel; a cinematic ode to the ecstasy and pain of one's first love.

Downsizing by director Alexander Payne (Nebraska) is another one to add to the list of features to watch out for. Starring Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz and Kristen Wiig, this is colourful depiction of Norwegian scientists who discover method for shrinking people to pocket size as part of a grand design to limit humanity's carbon footprint and save the world.

Annette Bening and Jamie Bell bring to life the intense romance of Hollywood icon Gloria Grahame and her much younger lover in the Film Stars Don't Die In Liverpool.

The new Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth) film is definitely one to watch out for. The Killing of A Sacred Deer features appearances by Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman and Alicia Silverstone to name a few. A surrealistic follow up on 2015's The Lobster, this promises to be deliciously twisted and macabre morality tale.

Guillermo del Toro provides a festival highlight with The Shape of Water. Only its third screening at the BFI after Venice and Toronto film festivals. British actress Sally Hawkins is in the lead as a mute janitor in a secret US laboratory who begins to communicate with a strange, aquatic creature.

You Were Never Really Here, a noir thriller about one man's battle with depression, abuse and rage. Exploring the dark fringes, the film stars Joaquin Phoenix as a Gulf War Veteran and former FBI agent who turns killer for hire, specialising in saving victims from child sex rings.

One of France's most well-known directors, Francois Ozon, showcases his new work L'amant Double. A former model Chloe (Marine Vacth) has psychosomatic stomach pains which lead her down a dark path after she consults the handsome and mysterious psychiatrist Paul (Jérémie Renier).

The Florida Project is Sean Baker's follow up to the exceptional Tangerine. Featuring what appears to be a stellar performance by Willem Dafoe, this is a childhood story set against the backdrop of America's failed economy; as six year old Moonee (Brooklynn Kimberley Prince) lives with her teenage mother and other castaways in a pink motel in Orlando, down the road from Disney, where a life of carefree gives way for neglect.

Foxtrot by Israeli director Samuel Maoz highlights the absurdities of Israel's military conscription. The plot hones in on various personal relationships affected by sons, partners and friends conscripted.

Noah Baumbach's graces us with his new feature The Meyerowitz Stories, a comedy about a screwed-up New York family, featuring the talents of Dustin Hoffman, Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller and Emma Thompson.

Thelma's trailer hints at something truly and wonderful. Acclaimed filmmaker Joachim Trier has created a supernaturally-tinged tale of a young woman's macabre coming of age.

Finally, we come to Todd Haynes new feature Wonderstruck bringing his imaginative and playfully cinematic eye to the adaptation of Brian Selznick's young adult novel with Julianne Moore at the helms.

BFI 2017 will be taking place between the 4-15th October. For more information on dates and screening times visit: www.bfi.org.uk/lff